Transit Site on Foothills A No Go
Prince George, B.C. – As expected, Council for the City of Prince George has unanimously decided to scrap the Foothills-18th Avenue site as the site for a new BC Transit Operations and Maintenance facility.
Councillor Garth Frizzell says staff followed the process in locating a property that would be acceptable to B.C. Transit “They crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s” but says Council is listening and that is why that site is being rejected.
There was a major community outcry over the site, with thousands of people signing petitions and hundreds turning out to a public meeting on the proposal. The site would put an industrial use in the west bowl area, and would take away what has become a popular greenspace in the City.
“I truly saw first and second reading as a way to find more information for myself and Council and from the public itself, and it certainly did that” said Councillor Susan Scott. She noted people were telling her they didn’t want the project to go away, “but that it be more appropriately located.”
Councillor Brian Skakun says if there is an upside to this matter “It brought people together” He said “The opposition made it clear there was no need to go a public hearing.” He said rejecting this site opens the door to find another location for the Transit facility.
Councillor Frank Everitt said he believed people took issue with the proposal “Rightfully so, they sent email, they had conversations” He said his job is to “Listen and to make the best decision for the community” and rescinding this site was the best decision . He said finding a new piece of property will cost the City more money, but that’s what the residents wanted.
It was clear members of Council suffered abuse, both verbal and written from those who disagreed with Council giving the project first and second reading. Those readings are needed in order to move to a public hearing where the public can speak up on a project.
Both Councillors Jillian Merrick and Terrie McConnachie were walking an emotional tightrope as they spoke of how the public had treated them.
Mayor Lyn Hall noted this was a difficult and contentious issue, and it won’t be the last one this Council will have to face “We know we are making tough decisions, but we are setting the right direction for the community”
Administration will now work with BC Transit to find a new site for the $23 million dollar project.
They will likely destroy this little piece of green space eventually. It won’t be made into parkland or just left alone…something will be built so the city can make some money off of it. The fact that this was even a potential spot for an industrial building is something that people should take issue with. It shows no common sense and brings the integrity of our City Mayor and Counselors into question.
ummmmm ……………… the people did take issue.
Yes people did…and they should continue to be guarded.
“The fact that this was even a potential spot for an industrial building is something that people should take issue with”
I think the people primarily took issue with the fact that this is not a location for a light industrial use.
That is different than the people taking issue with the notion that this site should have been off limits in the first place.
I think some people did, but that is not what the petition was about.
To me, that is the next step in educating both City Council and City Staff. It is called: “How to read the OCP with understanding”.
Read the vision statement carefully and it becomes much clearer to many.
For those Councillors and staff who do not understand the purpose of a vision statement and, more importantly, how a vision statement is created, they need to write 100 times on a public black board
“A vision statement is the highest level purpose of City Government as seen by the people in open and thorough debate over one or more years of engagement with City staff. It is what governs land use and fiscal responsibility to the social and financial operations of the City”
Each time they do not achieve a passing grade of 90% on knowledge and understanding of the meaning of a vision statement prepared by the people, they get to write the same phrase 100 more times.
Snow dump and Hydro substation are pretty much light industrial. The old city transfer station that used to be there and moved for the soccer fields to go in was light industrial.
Not saying any green space should be rezoned but our council and planning department have a hard time figuring out what projects should go where. The old folks home that took out a soccer field for school kids is one example where we have tons of land in PG but they want to rip out Park and green space. We have a huge parking lot next to the old odeon theatre that the city wants condos to go in, well they blew their chance with a care facility looking for land. Might as well have let the night club go in seeing as how the city wants to just use green spaces for new developments and that will remain a parking lot far after these clowns retire
This area should have never been considered for this project. Prince George has a huge land mass, five industrial sites, plus many other areas that would suit the project. In fact the transit shop could have stayed right where it is.
This is about getting and spending the $23 Million dollars. To get the money you need a project, so the project became a new transit facility, then they needed a location, and this is where they fell down. They had many choices, however they picked the one area, that ensured that people would go ballistic.
We need to do a better job of communicating with the taxpayers of this City who have to pay the tab on all these projects that are not clearly thought out.
And kick some butts in the “pizz poor planning” department.
City Council made the right decision and that’s good. City Council listened to the people and that’s good. City Planning department….not so good.
The planning dept. tried a Christy Clark maneuver. The only difference the City did listen.
Now is the time for citizens to be proactive and get a plan in place to save this little corner from industrial and urban encroachment. It needs to be claimed by citizens as a public green space.
Something still smells about this whole process. Why on earth would anyone even consider that are for something like a bus yard? The only thing is that someone in a position of trust stood to make a bunch of money on it. I can’t think of another reason.
With respects to the planning department, we don’t have one of those. What we have is a dictatorial department of business prevention. I don’t think that an un-elected official should have that much clout when it comes to which direction the city should be going in. Time for changes to the way the city plans.
I hear you PGguy, something about this still doesn’t make sense to me either. Perhaps a hidden agenda.
I am glad that city council listened. Thanks guys!
And Junco, I like that idea, maybe we should put forward a proposal to zone a bunch of that corner into permanent green space.
Who would of guessed they listened this time.Thank you council.
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