Controversial plan gets council’s green light
A controversial development across the river from downtown has been approved by city council despite the community’s concerns and objections.
Council yesterday voted 12-1 to go ahead with the Strathearn high-rise condominiums and apartments on land overlooking the city’s river valley.
The ruling means the neighbourhood can expect construction to be started next year that will see four tower apartment and condominiums built with a total of about 1,750 suites, including a percentage of low-income units under a compromise agreed to by the developer.
At least one resident on hand at the hearing was very disappointed with the council’s decision to go ahead with the condos he believes will add too much congestion to the quiet neighbourhood across the North Saskatchewan River southeast of downtown.
“I’m not surprised, but I’m also not happy at all,” 20-year-community resident Greg Plouffe told Metro after the motion passed. “I don’t feel like the community’s concerns were taken into account.”
Plouffe said while he has issues on a local level, he thinks the bigger issue at hand is the whole planning process.
“I think the biggest problem is with the consultation between the developers and the community. I don’t think they took into account the concerns of the citizens and then they went ahead with the process anyways,” he said.
But Coun. Jane Batty said while the decision is never an easy one when two groups are in opposition; it was one that will have long-term benefits to the community.
“I think this is a great thing for the community and it will improve the image. The fact of the matter is in ten years Edmonton won’t look like it does now,” she said.
Coun. Karen Leibovici agreed, “Part of the community felt like it needed rejuvenation and part of the community felt like their needs haven’t been met, and unfortunately a compromise couldn’t have been reached.”
Coun. Ben Henderson was the only one to vote against the development.
Developer and president of Nearctic Group David Kent said last night he was very pleased with the news and was looking forward to getting started right away on the planning.