Editor, The News:
I am writing to express my concerns about the proposed development at the corner of 244th Street and 102nd Avenue in Albion.
I am mostly concerned about the proposed changes to not only the OCP, but also the Urban Boundary, as well as the Albion Area Plan.
All this to accommodate one developer. Why?
We, the community, fought long and hard, and I personally, through petition, collected more than 3,000 signatures from voters to save the Jackson lands and have the farm become a park in its natural state.
We did not go to all this effort to have some absentee landlord who purchased the property as farmland, at farmland prices, knowing full well it was zoned agricultural, only to curry council favor at this later date to change the designation so to profit on it.
The owner should either sell it as farmland if he no longer wants it and let someone else use it for agriculture, like a hobby farm, or for vegetables, or just as a beautiful piece of property to live on.
This property is surrounded on three sides by parkland, as it is, with 244th Street being the dividing line between the current development and the farm.
I also understand council is considering allowing this developer to use approximately one to 1.5 acres of the Jackson lands to address drainage issues on his three acres.
The wildlife, the wetlands on the farm and the natural topography will be disturbed forever to accommodate drainage for this development.
Manmade wetlands and replanted areas can never duplicate nature as it already exists.
We are nothing but arrogant to think we can. Any runoff from this development will be directed into Jackson Creek. This includes any chemicals from car washing, fertilizing of plants, and dumping of household chemicals in the sewers.
What impact is this going to have on the wildlife inhabiting this creek?
From the plans I have seen, the amount of land from the farm needed for this drainage issue is approximately one to 1.5 acres. This is no small amount.
If the owner needs to drain his land, he should have to do it within the three acres like any of the rest of us would have to. This sets a dangerous precedent for any other landowner or developer who owns land alongside a park or a green space to be allowed the same privilege of using park land to drain their property so they can maximize the use of their land.
Do you really want to take this road? I hope not.
People have long memories when it comes to what is perceived as favoritism towards landowners and developers at the expense of the public.
Albion has an abundance of these landowners and developers who purchased cheap lowlands in the ALR and now are waiting to profit. We need to send them a clear message of protection for our future.
It is up to our elected representatives to help us protect the environment and wildlife by making wise decisions.