- Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council
Thank you to everyone who made your opinions known through this petition and other means. The FCC has heard you and has withdrawn their development proposal from Council effective yesterday evening (July 4, 2019). This announcement is truly the result of a community effort.
On behalf of everyone involved, thank you for helping to save the Jina Burn Memorial Chess Park!
On June 25, 2019, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council was given a proposal from the Family Christian Centre (FCC) to convert the greenspace adjacent to Dickins Close in the heart of Dickinsfield (also known as Jina Burn Chess Park) into a paved parking lot.
This proposal would extend their parking lot by tearing down the existing greenspace and treeline adjacent to the Birchwood trails, at the expense of local families and residents who use the area for recreation year-round, including skating, chess, frisbee, and other family activities. In exchange, the FCC argues the new parking lot would improve safety and convenience for its members and for others during school pick up/drop-off. However, residents have indicated that the planned one-directional loop will likely create additional congestion in the area. Other have said they would prefer their children to walk through a field than a busy parking lot. The FCC proposes purchasing this land from the RMWB at a price of $1.
The zoning change would also allow the FCC to make any changes to the land - including construction of new structures or buildings - without any further requirement for public consultation.
While the FCC argues that it is experiencing incredible demand for its services and anticipates further growth in the future, we believe that the proposed parking lot is only a bandaid solution and would fail to address further future growth concerns.
Sadly this is not the first time this group has proposed to turn this park into a parking lot. While this was quashed years ago, the FCC has now claimed to Council that this project is in the best interest of the community and that there is much support for it. The reality is vastly different, as no resident consultation outside the FCC's own members has occurred. We strongly oppose these secretive actions that undermine all those who call Dickinsfield home.
Dickinsfield is a smaller neighbourhood; however, it is a mature established neighbourhood that attracts many for its quiet, established family-oriented atmosphere. Following Project Firesmart, this is the main treed greenspace remaining within arms reach of the neighbourhood; to sacrifice it for one group over the interests of the entire neighbourhood is highly undesirable.
More details will be added as we review their proposal in greater detail. However, while the FCC has pushed this past the first stage at Council, we have only until July 9 to demonstrate that residents want to protect the peaceful, mature environment that drew many of us here.
Public consultation to re-zone the area for construction will occur during Council's meeting on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at the Jubilee Building. Residents are highly encouraged to attend as this is our last chance to save this neighbourhood land before it gets paved.
Sign the petition below to tell Mayor & Council that Dickinsfield is not open for development.
(Note: your email & physical address will not be displayed publicly.)
We the undersigned, as concerned residents of Dickinsfield do not support the destruction and removal of the existing greenspace in the heart of Dickinsfield for the purposes of creating additional parking space.
Further, we call on RMWB council to provide further zoning protections to ensure the space is preserved for the future enjoyment of all local residents.
The Save Dickinsfield Park petition to Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council was written by Save Dickinsfield Park and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.