Citizens Rise Up to Protect Greenspace From Destruction
Prince George, B.C. – The proposal to locate a new BC Transit operations and maintenance facility in a very popular and well-used greenspace at 18th Avenue and Foothills Boulevard has become a highly visible issue in the city as residents step up to the plate to passionately voice their opposition.
Susanne Williamson speaks on behalf of a large and growing group of concerned citizens who are against the plan and want to save the greenspace “We oppose this location because of a variety of factors including the use of the area for recreationalists, for wildlife, for maintaining habitat connectivity with the university.” She says the proposed location is also bad for residents “This proposal would be putting an industrial area with, at its maximum capacity, a bus transiting in and out of the facility every minute in a residential neighbourhood.”
Following the first public information meeting on the proposal on March 8th, a Facebook group was formed and an online petition launched. Williamson says they have collected postal codes on their online petition which already has nearly 1,600 signatures from residents throughout the City.
The petition will be submitted to Council for the meeting on third reading and the public hearing as the proposal requires both a change to the Official Community Plan, and rezoning of the property.
The project represents a $23 million commitment to Prince George transit. The City would contribute 17 percent of the cost, up to $3.8 million. Some of that contribution would be in land, some in cash. Williamson also raises concerns about possible hidden costs she believes could hit the $5 million dollar mark.
“For $5 million Council could also be choosing to remediate an existing industrial site and have it ready to be developed into a bus service yard” says Williamson
An Open House, which the City is hosting to provide residents with more information on the proposed transit facility, will take place on Thursday, May 11th from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor lounge at the Kin Centre.
The exact date for third reading and the public hearing has not been set.