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  • Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:57 PM | Cory Doll (Administrator)
    Today the SCNC and University agreed to resume community involvement with the Michener Park Focus group.

    The SCNC understands that the Michener Park Sector plan will now once again guide the development of the entire existing Michener Park Sector, including what we are now calling the 'eastern' and 'western' districts.   This entails "detailed land use elements...includ(ing) roads, pathways, open space, housing development zones and associated parking and amenity space" for the entire sector. 
     
    With this understanding, and with the understanding that we will have a similar opportunity to provide meaningful feedback as previously agreed upon with the University, the Malmo Community League and the South Campus Neighbourhood Coalition have both independently voted in favour of re-forming the SCNC's Michener Park Sub-committee and re-joining the Michener Park Focus Group. 
     
    The SCNC believes that representation from the City is necessary, even crucial, in our ongoing talks regarding South Campus lands and have asked the University to consider their inclusion in future focus group meetings.

    The SCNC looks forward to contributing to a successful Michener Park re-development which contributes to enhancing complete communities.
     
    See University's Latest Michener Park Displays from their recent Open House.
     
  • Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:10 AM | Cory Doll (Administrator)
       

    Dear Neighbours,

    You may be aware of the media coverage regarding decision by the South Campus Neighbourhood Coalition (SCNC) to withdraw from the Michener Park redevelopment proposed by the U of A. The proposed redevelopment centres on two thirds of Michener lands to remain as student housing with the remainder land use undefined. An option being considered by the U of A is leasing two large parcels of this remaining land to private developers to fund Michener redevelopment. Although U of A states that final decisions have not been made, very recent precedent in nearby ‘Golflands’ adjacent to Michener Park, and statements from the University officials suggests leasing is likely the preferred option. Our concern is not specifically about leasing, rather, the likely outcome of the leasing option - uncoordinated development of three developments in a compact area guided by two separate planning processes, City planning for leased land and University planning for student residence land. We feel that this is an outcome that is not beneficial to the communities and not to the University.

    You might be wondering why we should care how Michener redevelopment occurs. We ought to care because how this redevelopment occurs offers lessons how rest of the South Campus may develop. South Campus is a large tract of land – area about the size of the City Centre lands – much of it yet to be developed. So coordinated process for planning and development is not a luxury, it is a must. As immediate neighbours we will face direct and enduring effects‑both big and small, positive and negative‑ from South Campus developments.

    The SCNC’s goal for Michener redevelopment has been to plan for the entire site and go beyond commenting on pre-determined courses of actions on the table. We want to work towards a holistic community plan for the entire site, one that brings together the key stakeholders – the communities, the City, the University and Michener residents. Michener site offers a template for building a future South Campus that is leading edge in urban planning and well integrated into our communities.

    We have decided to withdraw participation because until now the U of A has been unwilling to explore a community plan encompassing the whole site. However, we continue to explore a process where the spirit and intent of a community plan can be realized.

    If you have comments or need further information, please contact your local representative to the SCNC or send your comments to our website.

    Sincerely,

    Anish Neupane
    Chair, South Campus Neighbourhood Coalition
    www.southcampus.ca

    Member communities – Belgravia, McKernan, Grandview Heights, Lansdowne, Aspen Gardens/WestBrook, Malmo Plains, Lendrum Place, Parkallen

  • Friday, October 04, 2013 2:46 PM | Cory Doll (Administrator)

    Attached is a media release followed by the message emailed to the University of Alberta on October 4th announcing the SCNC's withdrawal from the Michener Park Focus Group. A related Edmonton Journal Article is here, with a follow up article here


    South Campus Neighbourhoods Withdraw from Michener Park Redevelopment Consultations


    On Friday, the South Campus Neighbourhood Coalition (SCNC) representing the neighbourhoods of Aspen Gardens/Westbrook, Belgravia, Grandview, Lansdowne, Lendrum, Malmo, McKernan, and Parkallen withdrew from future ‘consultation’ meetings with the University related to re-development of the Michener Park Sector Plan. This decision is directly related to unaddressed concerns about uncoordinated planning and development stemming from the university’s proposal to lease 1/3 of the Michener Park land to private developers.

     

    The University of Alberta is currently working to re-develop their Michener Park adult residences. In order to help pay for the re-development, the University plans to lease two large parcels of landto private developers. This downloads planning responsibility to an unconnected city process, similar to the adjacent and controversial Westcorp land lease.

     

    "We are concerned by the logistics of having three independent planning initiatives separately guided by city and university processes said SCNC Michener Sub-committee Chair and Malmo Community League President - Cory Doll. "We are not comfortable in providing input on one aspect of this development without better understanding the cumulative impacts from the development of the leased lands”. Governed by the Post-Secondary Learning Act, the University is not guided by city planning processes and has a reduced duty to consult. Senior university officials have denied a request by the SCNC to further discuss coordinated planning options.

    With reduced provincial funds available to the University, the SCNC is also concerned about the broader impacts that this ‘lease to build’ approach could have throughout South Campus and University lands and beyond. "At about 600 acres, South Campus lands are about the same size as the City Centre Airport lands. We are concerned about the negative impacts that an uncoordinated patchwork approach to development on such large parcel of land in the heart of the city will have on our communities and the city. If planned and developed appropriately, the South Campus provides an amazing opportunity for Edmonton that could result in a leading-edge campus and a significant increase in access to amenities that work for the surrounding neighbourhoods and the city", said SCNC Chair Anish Neupane.

    The SCNC is advocating for a coordinated planning solution in Michener Park, and is exploring the potential for better coordination such as a community plan and community engagement charter to guide elements of city and university development within the Greater South Campus area. Initiated in September 2010, the SCNC is supported by formal resolution of community leagues from Aspen Gardens/Westbrook, Belgravia, Grandview, Lansdowne, Lendrum, Malmo, McKernan, and Parkallen.

     

    _____________________________


    Dear Emily

     

    Members of the SCNC Michener Park Sub-Committee including all Malmo, Lendrum and Lansdowne representatives have unanimously decided to withdraw from the Michener Park Focus Group Meetings. This decision is supported by the SCNC Executive. Our primary concern continues to be centered around the un-coordinated development that the proposed land leases will initiate. We do not see the focus group as an empowered or appropriate venue to work towards the resolution of this significant issue.

     

    We are concerned by the logistics of having three separate planning initiatives separately guided by city and university processes. We are not comfortable in providing input on one aspect of this development without better understanding the cumulative impacts resulting from the development of the leased lands. Informed by our recent experience with your adjacent land lease on the Golflands with Westcorp, we are concerned about the collective result of postage stamp planning and development in Malmo, and beyond. Finally, we are disappointed by the refusal of Debra Osburn and Don Hickey [U of A VPs] to discuss opportunities for more coordinated planning.

     

    Once we feel that our concerns about uncoordinated development within the current Michener Park Sector Plan are being meaningfully addressed we can resume our involvement with the focus group. Until then, the SCNC will openly and assertively work towards enabling a coordinated planning process. We look forward to exploring opportunities with the University to achieve this.

     

    The Michener Park Residence Association may still be interested in attending this focus group meeting. If so, I suggest that you follow up with them to confirm a meeting location.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Cory Doll

    Chair, SCNC Michener Park Sub-Committee
    President, Malmo Community League


  • Wednesday, September 18, 2013 4:00 PM | Cory Doll (Administrator)

    Go to the University's website to take a look at their Open House information boards.

    Please submit your comments to the University on the boards related your thoughts on

    design and integration into the broader community, and the proposed land leases. 

    Also, please share your thoughts by commenting on this post.

    http://www.communityrelations.ualberta.ca/Notices/2013/September/MichenerParkSectorPlanOpenHouseMaterials.aspx

  • Monday, September 02, 2013 3:21 PM | Cory Doll (Administrator)

    The South Campus Neighbourhood Coalition’s Michener Park sub-committee had our second meeting with the University in early August at the Malmo Community Hall.  At the meeting, we were surprised to learn that the University is proposing to lease out two large parcels of land constituting around 1/3 of the exiting site (~5.6 ha).  This land lease is intended to help offset the Michener Park development costs.

    While we are very amenable to the Michener Park re-development, the land lease is of concern.  It introduces two additional planning processes that could have little or no connection to the Michener Park sector plan, a daunting and frustrating scenario for our community volunteers, especially in the wake of the yet to be built Westcorp Golflands development, which taxed community residents and volunteers over several years.

    In our consultations to date, Michener Park was looking to increase its density from 400 units to 800 units, a number that residents seemed very comfortable with.  To put the potential impact of the land leases into perspective, Westcorp recently received approval for 470 (+30) units on 2.48 ha of adjacent land also leased from the University, a density they claimed was necessary for viability.  Extrapolating that number to the potential new lease areas (1061), adding the projected new Michener Park units (400), and adding the approved Westcorp development (470), Malmo could easily be looking at getting 1930+ new units.  This is around four times the original community’s size. While a retail option may also be pursued, this impacts the potential to revitalize the Lansdowne mall, especially in the event that Sobey’s ends Safeway’s restrictive covenant on the mall.

    The University also mentioned that these revenue generating land leases will likely be key to other South Campus developments moving forward (e.g. the West 240).  It would appear that these land leases will be designated through a development by development approach, not as a part of a broader plan / engagement.

    You may be aware that the South Campus Neighbourhood Coalition’s (SCNC) new vision is to actively contribute to the evolution of fully liveable communities in the greater south campus area supported by genuine partnerships with the University and the City of Edmonton.  Were concerned that the smattering of high density development islands instigated by the university’s revenue generating needs, coupled with the current hodgepodge of university and city planning in the area, will not be conducive to developing fully liveable communities in the greater South Campus Area.

    We are very concerned about the future impact of the status quo on Malmo Plains, and the greater South Campus Area.  Developments are happening on a postage stamp by postage stamp basis, without adequate attention being paid to the cumulative impacts, in absence of a broader vision, through different un-connected processes. 


    Planning needs to be more visionary, coordinated and accountable.  


    Paths towards achieving this goal includes limiting or removing the university’s planning exclusion enabling better coordination through ONE planning process.  Also, a substantial memorandum of agreement between the city, university inclusive of a community engagement charter could also be developed, enabling more coordinated planning and/or the joint development of a greater South Campus area development plan (e.g. Community Plan), and ensuring consistent and meaningful community engagement.

    As a resident, you are encouraged to attend the next Michener Park Open House on September 17.   Also, please raise this issue with mayor and council hopefuls, our MLA and the University. Learn more and share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

  • Sunday, September 01, 2013 9:13 AM | Cory Doll (Administrator)

    We are asking local mayoral and councillor candidates for their perspectives on coordinated south campus planning.  We will post responses here as they are received. Here is our question to them:

    As University development falls outside city planning processes, what leadership will you take to ensure that the developments associated with South Campus enhance vibrant communities and contribute to Edmonton’s broader goals?


    Richard Feehan (Candidate for Ward 10) circulated this letter to neighbouring residents
    Letter | Website

    Micheal Walters (Candidate for Ward 10) listed these related Blogs:
    South Campus | Mature Neighbourhoods

     

  • Saturday, August 31, 2013 3:18 PM | Cory Doll (Administrator)
    We shared these concerns with University's Board of Governors.  However, the LRDP was approved by the Board of Governers, without substantially having addressed our concerns. We have shared our concerns with the Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education who must also approve the LRDP.  We would like to thank our local provincial and municipal representatives, MLA Steve Young and Councilor Don Iveson, for advocating on our behalf.

  • Tuesday, August 13, 2013 4:45 PM | Cory Doll (Administrator)

    In recent weeks, plants and crops on the farm property have been removed and vegetation disrupted. The University seeks to remind those who take advantage of South Campus lands to respect the integrity of the research taking place by abiding by the following regulations:

      Remain on the trails and grass pathways.

      Ensure dogs are on their leash at all times.

      Do not interfere with any plants or crops.

    The South Campus research lands are restricted areas and public vehicle access is not permitted. Campus Protective Services are patrolling the premises. Let’s try to ensure that the U keeps its gates open, so we can all enjoy access to the farmlands.

    Secondly, please note that the university will be building chain-link fencing around the Medical Isotope and Cyclotron Facility as a security measure necessitated by several acts of vandalism.  The most recent incident in early August caused damage estimated at over $15,000. Edmonton Police Service is investigating the situation. If you see suspicious activity, the request to the community is to not engage the individual but call the 24-hour line of Campus Protective Services at 780-492-5050.

    If you have questions, regarding either of these topics, please contact the Office of University Relations at 780-248-1222 or email: universityrelations@ualberta.ca. 

  • Tuesday, August 13, 2013 3:20 PM | Cory Doll (Administrator)
    63 Avenue update

    The access into South Campus at 122 Street/63 Avenue is expected to be operational in 2014.  Over the last several years much discussion has been had on this issue.   We acknowledge that additional access into South Campus is needed and access via arterial road network rather than residential road is desired.  The question is what is the best placement of this access in the context of current and future land uses.  During discussions with the University it became apparent that final decision regarding placement of the intersection had already been made. Instead, we were to discuss narrowly defined aspects like placement of sidewalks and bike lanes.  As future developments are planned for South Campus, the 63 Avenue process shows that consultation process needs to be guided by these principles:

     a) transparency and openness about all possible developments
     b) opportunity to provide input early in the planning process before final decisions made
     c) community proposed alternatives are given due consideration and analysis before final decisions are made
     d) decision making process and criteria are transparent and accessible to the communities
     e) consultation regarding substantive nature of the proposed development, not just on narrowly scoped questions regarding aesthetics of that development
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