I am writing this letter, as I am deeply disappointed with our City council. City council approved the rezoning of 309 Main Street to become a 13,700 square-foot commercial building with an underground parkade. This property is located adjacent to a residential street and right next to a home. Old Town residents have been fighting this development for almost two years and their cries for respectful and safe development went unheard at this most recent public hearing. City council approved this rezoning and development and has effectively turned their back on the very people they are supposed to represent.
This development is riddled with oversight, traffic and pedestrian safety concerns, parking issues, flooding risks, and will dramatically affect the quality of life for the residents who live around this area. With more than 50 residents speaking against this development, either written or spoken, it was painful for the residents to see their community being dismantled and their concerns not being addressed.
In my opinion, the decision to proceed with this development sets a very dangerous precedent for anyone living in Airdrie. This approval sets the tone it doesn’t matter what negative consequences will be seen for the residents of a community and as long as it helps the bottom line then City council will approve it.
I know the City is trying to increase economic development but to put business before residents is only going to alienate residents and stop people from wanting to live here. We elect our council to protect our homes, families and quality of life, and it’s obvious this guiding principle was missing when it made the decision to approve this development.
In addition, most of those in support of this development do not live within the immediate community and many of the letters of support were from people who didn’t even live in our city. Why are residents of other cities allowed to dictate what happens in Airdrie?
I do want to emphasize that I normally respect the work our City council does, however the decision to approve this development was not fair to the residents who elected them. Our community feels betrayed and we have lost confidence in our council. I hope as the future downtown plan is worked on and finalized, council will more heavily consider the residents of the communities within these areas and hopefully can rebuild the trust of Old Town residents.