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Northwest residents voice concerns over proposed development in Highland Park
Published Saturday, October 1, 2016 5:23PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 1, 2016 6:28PM MDT
The proposed introduction of condominiums on what was once a northwest golf course has prompted community member apprehension.
“We see a missed opportunity here,” said Marvin Quashnick, vice-president of the Thorncliffe-Greenview community association. “While the site, arguably, could be developed, we’re looking for a more sensitive development. Some of the historic natural and ecological things that are here are of great value and, to date, we’ve seen them pretty much dismissed by the plan that’s on the table.”
“It’s just been a gradual erosion of the values that we thought were important not just to us but the city as well.”
On Saturday morning, dozens of people gathered in Highland Park to discuss the future of the park.
The land, the former site of the Highland Park golf course, has been adopted as a park by residents in the neighbouring communities of Highland Park, Thorncliffe and Greenview. Sections of the park are privately-owned while the remainder is city land.
“The community has put in lots of effort,” said Ward 4 councillor Sean Chu who toured the park alongside the residents. “They’re not NIMBY (Not In My BackYard). They want what is best for the community and the whole city.”
“We’ve been aware of this development for three years,” adds Quashnick. “There has been a back-and-forth between the city and the developer but there’s been last minute changes that we weren’t aware of.”
According to the Vancouver-based development company, the Highland Village Green project will include more than 2,000 condo units, a shopping centre, pathways, roads and transit access.
Anne Naumann, a Highland Park resident for nearly 20 years, says she would like to see the central valley retained as her neighbourhood is short on greenspace.
“I think, for me, the biggest worry is the plan to just devastate this natural asset of the valley and tear down all these beautiful trees that have grown up in the area and adapted to the environment,” said Naumann.
Councillor Chu says a number of the park’s trees will be removed, regardless of development, as they are either diseased or suffered damage in ‘Snowtember’, 2014’s September storm.
A public hearing on the development project is scheduled for January 2017.
With files from CTV's Jamie Mauracher