Monday, April 26, 2010

City Skimps Environmental Consultation

I have covered before the "blanket statement" issued to the 37 Active Transportation projects, absolving them of any need to conduct environmental assessments under the guise of time constraints to use federal money.

And today it seems the City hands those same "privaleges" over to developers.

Apprently the prospect of 3500 townhouses near Sterling Lyon Parkway was just too juicy to pass up, even if it means bulldozing high quality park areas to do so.

As I said in my previous post, and this one coming just after Earth Day weekend, just makes me shake my head in even further shame. This is all we have left, people. Once it's gone, it isn't coming back. There isn't just more somewhere else. There aren't other wetlands and other forests and other areas that are this high quality, this pristine, this untouched, with this many naturally occuring species present.

Sure, theres forests and wetlands and such in other places in the province. But think of the boundaries of the City of Winnipeg as a model for the Earth. How many places like this are left now? How important is it that they need to be protected? When we can't or don't want to save what's left, or when we think there is just a bottomless well of great natural places to go to, well, no wonder environmental issues are such hot topics.

The most interesting aspect of all this of course is that, had the city had half a brain, this area could have been turned into a park, not unlike Assiniboine Forest, and allowed the developer to put up townhouses, albeit far less than 3500, on one of the edges of this hypothetical park. That would have greatly increased the land value around this place, and greatly increased the value of the townhouses. Who wouldn't want to live by such a nice park anyway?

Proof that you can be environmentally concious and at the same time, make positive development. But I suppose most Winnipeggers wouldn't want to live by a nice park.

Giving City Hall, Property Planning and Development, the Mayor, and whoever else involved in this a giant, huge, green thumbs down. This is a no brainer. And this kind of thing for the day and age that we live in, well there just simply isn't room for any of it. There isn't any excuse any more.

I guess the City will send MAR Consultants to spin this for us.


Anonymous said...

I'd call it infill housing. Come on, you didn't really think that chunk of land would grow weeds. Not with IKEA opening down the street and a few more amlls lining up Kenaston.

Graham said...

I call it unecessary environmental destruction.

What, we can't have the magical "infill housing" downtown on all them empty parking lots?

How about you go down to this place, Mr Nobody, and see it for yourself. I have actually conducted botanical surveys in this area.

Our "urban forest" is worth saving to people, but not this? Who in the right mind would trade an environmental gem for 3500 townhouses? It's not like we need them, with all the sprawl going on and Waverly West.

What's wrong with say, making ONLY...1750 townhouses, and makign the rest a park?