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Letter #1: Evansdale Community Discusses Homes for Heroes Proposal at January 28 Meeting
A meeting of the residents of Evansdale was held on January 28, 2020 to discuss the rezoning application put forth by Homes for Heroes for the development of a Tiny Village for homeless veterans. The rezoning relates to the parcel of land along 153 Avenue and 93/94 Streets from agriculture to DC2. This meeting was an informal meeting of residents, and as such there was no representation from the City or Homes for Heroes. It should be noted that the notice of this meeting was delivered by volunteers to households in their area and word of mouth.
The general consensus of the meeting attendees was that the parcel of land was not ideal because it is flanked by three roadways and runs East and West along a busy avenue (153 Avenue). The attendees at this meeting all agreed that these veterans deserved a better location for their Tiny Village. In 2019, there were 76 car crashes at that particular intersection. A “2016 Hourly Traffic Volume” report by City of Edmonton showed that an average of 21,767 cars travelled between 97 street and 82 street – East and West – per day.
It is also important to note that all meeting attendees agreed that something should be done to support homeless veterans and applauded the work of Homes for Heroes. A common question asked at the meeting was “Is there no other piece of land available with the Evansdale Community boundaries that could be used for the Tiny Village?”.
At this meeting, a petition to reject the application to rezone this specific piece of land was made available for signature. This petition, with 87 signatures, was emailed to all City Councillors, the Planning Department, the Mayor’s Office and Homes for Heroes. The original was delivered to the Office of the City Clerk on January 31, 2020.
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THIS PETITION WAS OPPOSING THE REZONING OF THIS PARCEL OF LAND ONLY AND NOT THE HOMES FOR HEROES PROGRAM IN GENERAL.
–Submitted by Pat S., Evansdale Resident
Letter #2: Homeless Heroes
I feel that it is a shame and disgrace that the City, province and federal governments, and mostly the military refuse to honour our homeless heroes by not allocating a very small portion of the present Griesbach site for this housing project.
For many military personnel, this site was their home and place of training. On this site, we honour our war heroes who fought and died for us with plaques and statues. Would it not be more appropriate to use this site to help rehabilitate some of our military people who have fallen on tough times and need our help?
I feel that the northeast corner of the Griesbach site bordering 153 avenue and 97 street should be strongly considered for this project for the following reasons:
* This portion of land is under the jurisdiction of the military.
* This portion of land is buffered with trees along 153 avenue, 97 street and by the side of military rental housing.
* There would be no need to remove any trees.
* This piece of property has sat vacant for a minimum of 50 years.
* It is convenient to a bus stop on the corner of 97 street and 153 avenue.
* There is a paved access road along 97 street up to the present rental housing plus an additional access road off 153 avenue and approximately 99 street.
* With the existing military rental housing bordering the southern portion of this property, it is obvious that the power, sewer, and water already here would make this site more cost effective.
* There would be minimal disruption to traffic flow on 153 avenue and 97 street and to the neighbouring housing community during the construction phase.
* This site is large enough to accommodate off-street parking for service and staff vehicles without encroaching on neighbourhood parking.
* This site can fully meet the potential needs of this project.
* It leaves the present proposed site as a well-used tobogganing site frequented by hundreds of families both from the neighbourhood and surrounding communities. This is the only true natural active playground site in the community (baseball and soccer fields do not provide the same opportunity).
A symbolic gesture that offers the proposed land for one dollar meets the needs of our politicians and bureaucrats but does not fulfill the needs of the project nor solve the concerns of the community and its citizens.
I question the merits of this site. These are my concerns:
* The site is too small for the project. In May of 2019, the proposal had up to 30 units. Now the new proposal has 20 units and no raised garden beds.
* The project buildings are too close to 153 avenue and the neighbours across the street.
* Will the service vehicles and staff that will frequent the site be parking on the street and encroaching on the adjoining neighbours privacy?
* What will happen to the trees that have been planted on the site?
* This development is so close to the 94A street access onto 153 avenue. It will certainly increase the traffic congestion in this area. In addition, the traffic of buses and parents already coming to and going from Evansdale School puts an extra burden on this intersection.
* The project will definitely cause traffic delays and disruption to traffic flow during the construction period of this project.
As a responsible corporation, the military has a duty of care to their employees even when they fall upon tough times. There are approximately 7000 personnel from across Canada that require rehabilitation. I feel that an allocation of land in each province by the military is not unreasonable, especially when it will end up with a lease agreement.
“Lest we forget”
–Submitted by T. Leskiw, Evansdale Resident