deer2While I was walking through Stoney Orchard Park I came upon 2 deer. The picture of a deer was taken in April 2020 just after I saw the other 2 deer. It was in the field directly opposite the proposed sale of city parkland to Barry’s Construction.

Following is a couple of paragraphs from an article written in the Sun-Times Nov 20th, 2019:

City to examine Barry's Construction request to buy parkland

“draft plan approval for the Ridgecrest Subdivision was approved in the 1980s.”

“Council would then vote on a staff-recommended preferred alternative and, based on that decision, a design and action plan could be developed. Another public meeting would follow before council votes on a final plan.”

“Coulter told council she would recommend any revenue from the sale of the .5-hectare land be used to create a neighbourhood park with a play structure in the area.”

“If the land is sold, the city’s standards for the provision of parks would still be achieved in that area, she said, but it should be considered for a play structure."

deerThere are many questions we should all ask.

Can city taxpayers see the original site plan of the proposed (Ridgecrest subdivision) along the west side of 8th Avenue East between 21st St and 23rd St. Does the original plan have all the homeowners exiting onto 8th Avenue? Has this plan changed?

Has the site plan been changed so that some of the properties are facing south along what is currently the path to the trails? Are the exits from some sites exiting onto the proposed extension of 23rd St.?

If the original plans drafted in the '80s had the properties exiting onto 8th Avenue I would ask why can’t it stay that way?. No need to continue 23rd St. leave it as a path. Keep our park, no need to sell the 1.3 acres.

Will the city put in the proposed extension of 23rd St? What is the cost of that? How far will the extension go?

Can we as taxpayers receive information on how much the land is worth will the developer pay fair market value for it? How much does a lot cost in the city to buy times that by 16. Lets low ball it $50,000 X 16 lots $800,000

What is the guarantee it will only be 16 sites as in the past this developer has requested changing their plans to acquire more sites (apartments) on other properties and the city has okayed them?

The survey that was mailed out and put on the City website does not ask if you are for or against the parkland being sold.

Question number 11 asked: Is there a feature or amenity that would add to your enjoyment or use at the Parkland? As noted at the start of my letter “revenue from the sale of the .5-hectare land be used to create a neighbourhood park with a play structure in the area.

I like this area because it is untouched. Keep it in its natural state. No need for a play area. Just to cut down more trees. Therefore no need to sell.

How many citizens do we need to say no on a petition, for staff and council members to also vote no to the developer getting 1.3 acres of our parkland?

A zoom meeting is not ideal for most citizens. Could the public meeting take place in the Bayshore so that there is lots of room for social distancing and gives the taxpayer a chance to be heard? “holding a public meeting to discuss alternatives” What alternatives… it not a yes or no vote. Or has it been decided already? I hope not.

The deer is not the only wilderness that we see in this park just recently we saw a snowy owl flying through in fact landing in our tree, also there’s a fox that lives in that area. Along with the mature trees that are growing in the park “it’s not a massive open field” will they all disappear?

Please, don’t slam the construction Company. They ask for extra. Its their right to ask. It’s the city that says yes and approves what they want.

On the City web page it states Owen Sound Mayor and council are involved in taking care of our community by listening to our residents......

I vote no to extending 23rd St., East and selling City Parkland.

Who else would vote no if given a chance to sign a petition? Let’s hope we will be heard.

Is there someone who can help us go through the proper procedures to acquire the results we wish to have. Can they go back to the original plans? Can we ask not to extend 23rd St.E.? What more should we or can we do to help change the minds of city staff and councillors that are already in favour of the sale?

Elly Sparnaay
Owen Sound