In the recent past, Dunnville built a new arena in a new location and tore down the old one leaving a big open plot of land right on the Grand River. (The Grand is one of Canada's 3 Heritage Rivers).
See that green space beside the Condo building? That's the general location in debate.
The problem is, Town Council thinks Dunnville needs to use this land for development - the people in the town believe the land should be kept as green space.
1) Once the land is sold, we can't get it back
2) The green space can be used for outdoor concerts, as it has natural acoustics and Dunnville used to have big summer music festivals but doesn't any more.
3) Tax dollars wouldn't increase THAT much per person and most people seem willing to take that increase.
4) Dunnville already has a number of empty stores, empty condos and the ugly condo in the above picture ruining the view of the River.
A few months ago, I went to a town meeting. There were many influential citizens at the meeting... doctors, teachers, shop owners, musicians, even former politicians. All the people there (AND I MEAN ALL) or maybe three or four less than all selected the same blueprint for the land. We had six choices, we were given blue stickers. We put the sticker on the option we preferred. All the dots ended up on the GREEN SPACE, no development option.
The thing is, Council finally released their version of the plan....
They feel it's a good compromise... but see that pinky/green horizontal line land taking up half the space... Council decided that part of the land should be sold for development. They think it will bring the town revenue... this is their fall back plan always... for example when they built the eyesore on the river... it NEVER solves their tax problems... and again, once the river property is sold, it's gone. No one was opposed to the Farmer's Market on the other side of the land, because there is already an open air market on that spot and local farmers sell fresh produce. Also the town does need parking... BUT with both those spaces used in the plan, observe how much is preserved as green space. They want a boardwalk, but what is there to look at but the back of buildings and the condo if you take up all the green space? Where will the outdoor concerts be?
The people organizing the movement FOR green space, encourage everyone to write letters to Town Council expressing their concerns. If you need more information, read here and here. Or send me an email with your questions and I will try to answer: firstname.lastname@example.org
So that's today's Paying it Forward post because we need to remember to pay it forward to future generations.
Oh, and as an employee of the County, I apparently need to add the disclaimer that I am NOT speaking on behalf of the County (obviously).