St. Albert was a community where residents took pride in the charm, the friendliness, and neighbourliness it emitted. Then came the changes. More residential properties crowded together in ever-increasing concrete surroundings blatantly dismissing authentic ‘green’ space; leaping tax hikes; increase in bylaws and lack of small community charm as this city continues to compete with the province’s capital. And now proposals of monstrous towering buildings are laid at the residents’ feet.
It is not only Grandin Park residents who will suffer lowering property values and the abominable view towering over their homes, but most St. Albertans would be saying good-bye to anything remotely charming about their small city as they look out of their homes to see Big City endeavours trying to manifest itself into reality. One needs to seriously question why people chose living in St. Albert over Edmonton. Surely it is not because of the city’s exorbitant taxes.
Residents can be assured though that with the forecasted increase of apartment dwellers, the small town feel of this community will effectively be dead. Of course the pro of no longer experiencing the small town feel is that buyers will have an easier time to choose if they would like to live in an “urban village” with higher or with lower taxes. Most dollar conscientious buyers will choose Edmonton.
Speaking of Edmonton and various developers’ attempts at what Amacon is looking to duplicate, it is interesting that many of these developments have become rentals as owners either find they do not like the caged in feeling, or they can not sell their properties at a profit. Is this what part of city council envisions for the future? A transient rental community?
As for believing that this will inject new life for the downtown area – possibly at first. But humans are inherently nomadic and therefore will travel elsewhere once the novelty wears off.
Some will squeal delightfully at the possibility of a LRT coming to this “transit village“. At whose cost though? The taxpayers? It has to be remembered that even with free-spending Alison Redford at the provincial helm, promises for a LRT extension to St. Albert were not made. City and provincial taxpayers have woken to government’s spending. So expecting this type of transit for a “possible” 3,400 people is extremely remote.
Retail and office space lays vacant throughout St. Albert. Other than optimism for this project, it would be interesting to hear why Amacon feels that their vision will not suffer the same fate.
Promoting ICLEI’s urban villages in a smaller community definitely supports the much touted content of the social master plan Councillor Heron championed. Community spirit can not be successfully fostered when a small city promotes separate identities throughout it.
St. Albert is long overdue for reinstating the MPC so the character of this community is not eroded any further.