Letter from SCNC Chair Person

Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:10 AM | Cory Doll

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.


Anish Neupane
Chair, South Campus Neighbourhood Coalition

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

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