Downtown Area Re-development Plan: $100's millions for 17 public projects paid for by the taxpayer; 7,000 new residents in high and mid rise condos with retail below; and narrowed streets. Relies on assumptions: St. Albert citizens can afford to pay: with the highest taxes in Alberta this is not true. That assumptions from southern cities, e.g. walkability work in a winter city: That St. Albert citizens view their downtown as blighted and want a downtown of hi and mid rises, 7,000 more people and traffic jams, vs its current quaint aspect: That it will result in downtown becoming retail center--it hasn't worked in Edmonton or Calgary with "dead zone" downtowns after 6 pm; That we are OK with parking garages and will walk to shop. There are no cost estimates, demand studies for either that much residential or commercial, or any indication of timing for construction.
If passed on August 16th this will become the marching orders for Administration. It will be perceived as approval for new public buildings like administration, library, seniors, profiles gallery (arts and heritage), and downtown market.
I do not think the proposed Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan is right for St. Albert, or that citizens have been adequately consulted. I support Council rejecting the proposed DARP By-law as a result of the Public Hearing.
Alternately, I support asking whether St. Albert Citizens want this by asking via a plebiscite during the October 18, 2010 municipal election "Do you support the Downtown Area Development Plan as submitted on July 5, 2010".
The Stop DARP Now petition to St. Albert Taxpayers Association was written by Lynda Flannery and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.