Ed Wilson – Written Submission – Stop the sale of Don Maynard Park and all Park Land

Ed Wilson – this is long – but the full story needs to be told WRITTEN SUBMISSION “SAVE DON MAYNARD PARK/SAVE ALL PARK LAND” AUGUST 29, 2016

FROM: Edward Wilson 238 Greystone Cres, RR4 Almonte, ON, K0A1A0

TO: Mayor, All Councillors, Relevant Staff The Municipality of Mississippi Mills should not sell the Don Maynard Park, Block 42 or the only public space (Lot at corner of Peter & Stonehome) in the Greystone/Stonehome subdivision.

The Municipality of Mississippi Mills should halt these sales and immediately undertake to develop a policy regarding the sale of park land. The policy should have policies which include the following:

1. Park land dedicated to an individual shall not be sold.
2. Park land/Public Space that is the only space in an area/sub-division shall not be sold.
3. The development of something in a specific area shall not be tied to the sale of public space/park land in that specific area.

The following have already been submitted for your consideration. Copies are attached: Please copy this letter and the attachments to the Mayor, All Councillors and relevant staff.
A. Written Submission to Public Meeting on May 10, 2016. I read this letter and then handed the written submission to the CAO.
B. Email dated May 16, 2016 – sent to the Mayor and all Councillors.
C. Email dated June 6, 2016 – sent to the Mayor and all Councillors.
D. Email dated July 28, 2016 – sent to the Mayor and all Councillors.
E. I spoke briefly at the Public Meeting on Aug. 9. I referred to the sale of the Greystone/Stonehome lot and the lack of discussion by Council members at both the Committee of the Whole meeting and at the Council Meeting regarding the sale. Many speakers had expressed their opinions that park land in general should not be sold. In my opinion the sale of the Greystone/Stonehome lot was an example of the selling of park land and was very relevant. For the record of the views expressed at that meeting, I did make the statement “Please reconsider the sale of the Greystone/Stonehome lot.”
Yours sincerely,
Edward Wilson
238 Greystone Cres,
RR 4 Almonte, ON,
K0A1A0
edwilson@bell.net

 

May 10, 2016
Mayor Shaun McLaughlin & Councillors Municipality of Mississippi Mills
RE: Trail Development and Sale of Land Greystone and Stonehome Subdivisions Committee of the Whole Meeting – May 10, 2016

Dear Mr. Mayor and Councillors.

I fully support the development of a trail from the Greystone and Stonehome Subdivisions to the Appleton Sideroad, but I strongly object to the sale of the Lot at the corner of Stonehome and Peter. A great many people walk the streets in this subdivision, many with children and many with dogs. This is a highly desirable activity which is well documented in the agenda for this meeting. The lot in the subdivision should not be sold
1. The development of the trail should not be tied to the sale of the lot. When did the municipality start making it a condition of doing work in an area that something should be sold in that area ? I don’t recall that happening in the past.
2. It is the only public park space in this subdivision. Every other area of the size of this subdivision has park space.
3. Once it is sold it is gone forever.
4. The lot has been sitting unused. Whose fault is that? The municipality has done nothing, spent nothing to make this lot attractive. Big money is spent on other areas, such as Augusta Street Park and Gemmill Park – money is spent on tennis courts, probably significant big dollars going to be spent on splash pads, play structures, etc. Is something going to be sold in those areas to pay for these big items?
5. The useless shrubs should be cleared from the lot, Save any good trees, plant some shade trees and then make it an area that those many people who walk can have a bench where they can sit down and rest. A play structure for small children would also be a valuable addition. That is the least that should be done.
6. Park land is a mandatory requirement of development and thank goodness that it is. But then if the municipality has done nothing to develop the area does that mean that it should be sold off? I would suggest that it should not be. Please consider the points I have made.

To conclude, the trail is a wonderful proposal. In the strongest terms that I can state, the lot should not be sold.

Yours truly,
Edward Wilson
238 Greystone Cres,
RR 4 Almonte, ON,
K0A1A0
edwilson@bell.net

 

May 16, 2016
Mayor Shaun McLaughlin & Councillors
You should have already received the letter that I submitted to the Committee of the Whole meeting on May 10, 2016 regarding the Trail Development and Sale of Lot in Greystone and Stonehome Subdivisions. I read the letter at the meeting on May 10, but did not enter into the back and forth discussion. I wish to make the following additional comments Conditional development of trail based on sale of lot In my opinion, a project in a specific area should not depend on selling something in that specific area. This, in my opinion, is poor decision making. An excellent project may be turned down because there is nothing in that area to be sold, and a marginal project may be approved because there is something that can easily sold without any loss of something valuable and with the general approval of the public.
Any property, or other items, that are surplus to the needs of the municipality should be considered on its own merits and the proceeds going into general revenues. Many factors including some of the following should be considered when approving a project: Is it a safety issue? Is it an environmental issue? Is it a project that must be done and is cost effective to do it now rather than delaying it? Does it add to the quality of life of the community? Does it have general approval of the public? And, depending upon the project, there may be many other factors. BUT – the sale of something in a specific area to pay for something in that area should not be a part of the consideration! Development of Trail The video shown at the meeting was excellent and it showed the benefits of exercise, and in particular, the value to health of walking. The members of the public attending the meeting overwhelming expressed approval of the development of the trail. I have a couple of comments – I assume it will be fenced on both sides where it goes between the houses on Greystone Cres. It was indicated that the land for the trail will be purchased. It is shown as a strip of land from behind the houses on Greystone to the Appleton Side Road with a narrow strip of land left between the trail and the houses on March Road. This narrow strip of remaining land seems to be a useless strip which could never be developed in the future. It may be several years, but, in my opinion, this area will someday become a subdivision. The comment was made that it was only swamp – but what was swamp land is regularly drained and many housing projects exist on what was wet land. In the future the leaving of this strip of land may be looked at as very poor planning. The trail could either go right behind the houses on the March Road – OR the trail could be moved far enough from the houses on March Road so that a road and housing could be developed in the future on that strip. Sale of Lot A couple of shade trees and a bench is my vision for this area. That is not asking for very much. A great many people walk in this subdivision and it is a main quality of life attraction to living here. I believe many people will walk and would really appreciate a bench where they can sit and enjoy. It will a tragedy if the land is sold off. Once sold it is gone forever. In my opinion, every subdivision is entitled to having some public open space. Big money is being spent on other areas, such as Gemmill Park. Perhaps if the Municipality is not willing to fund a couple of trees and a bench, then the residents in the area could contribute to the purchase of these items. But, mainly – do not sell the lot ! I appreciate your consideration of my views, – both the points in the letter that I submitted on May 10 and the above.

Thanks
Ed Wilson
613-256-2866
238 Greystone Cres,
RR 4 Almonte, ON,
K0A1A0
edwilson@bell.net

 

June 6, 2016
Mayor Shaun McLaughlin & Councillors Municipality of Mississippi Mills
RE: Committee of the Whole – June 7, 2016 Meeting Item E. Finance and Administration –

1. Greystone/Stonehome Trail to Almonte At the special meeting of the COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 a sign in sheet was signed by members of the public who wished to receive notice of upcoming meetings that would deal with the issue of a trail from Greystone and the sale of a lot at the corner of Peter St. and Stonehome Cres. I signed the sheet indicating that I wished to receive notices. After not having received any notice, on Friday, June 3, 2016 I checked the Mississippi Mills web site to find that the item was on the agenda for the COW meeting on June 7. I phoned and talked to Shawna Stone at 3 pm on Friday afternoon. She indicated that notices had not been sent out, but she was working on it – and the notice would be sent out shortly. The notice that the meeting on June 7, 2016 would have the item ‘Greystone/Stonehome Trail to Almonte’ was sent by email late Friday afternoon – at 3:52 pm. In my opinion, this is not adequate notice. I would have thought that all official notices would have a minimum of about 5 business days. The email notice had no indication that the minutes of May 10 meeting were in the agenda package for the June 7 meeting. It was only when I spoke to Shawna Stone that I knew that the minutes were in that package – that was 113 pages long. I would have thought that the minutes of the Special meeting on May 10, 2016 would have indicated the number of written submissions that were received regarding the trail and the sale of the lot. I do not know how many written submissions were received, but I do know that there was at least one – Because I submitted one. It was indicated that the trail from Greystone to the Appleton Side Road would be set back from the houses along March Road. I questioned in my email of May 16, 2016 the wisdom of leaving a narrow strip of land which would become entirely useless and be regarded in the future as very poor planning. Has this feature of the trail route been discussed? The Ontario Planning Act – Section 42 Conveyance (1) As a condition of development or redevelopment of land, the council of a local municipality may, by by-law applicable to the whole municipality or to any defined area or areas thereof, require that land in an amount not exceeding, in the case of land proposed for development or redevelopment for commercial or industrial purposes, 2 per cent and in all other cases 5 per cent of the land be conveyed to the municipality for park or other public recreational purposes. This is very clear – the reason for land conveyance is “- for park or other public recreational purposes.” I grant that the Act does allow the later sale of the land, but I suggest that it is going against the intent of the Act to say that ‘We never intended to have a park there.” I again state my opinion: 1. The development of the trail and the sale of the lot should be a completely separate discussion and decision. The trail should not be conditional on the sale of the lot.

2. The lot at the corner of Peter and Stonehome should ‘not’ be sold. Why is this area denied a public space?

3. The trail should continue with other funding. I suggest that sufficient notice of the item was not given and that the item should be referred to a later meeting, after proper notice has been sent out. I request your support.

Yours truly,
Edward Wilson

 

July 28, 2016

Mayor Shaun McLauglin and Mississippi Mills Councillors

STOP THE SALE OF PUBLIC PARK LAND !

I request and urge you to listen to the people who elected you and to stop the sale of public park land. Rather than having a referendum on every single question, individuals are elected to make decisions that represent the wishes of the people who elect them. I strongly believe that public park land should not be sold and I also believe that the majority of people in Mississippi Mills share that view. It is evident from the strong uprising of people speaking out against the sale of public park land that this is the case. Stop the sale of the Don Maynard Park and, if it is not already sold (as of July 28, 2016), please take immediate action to stop the sale of the only public space in Greystone/Stonehome (the lot at the corner of Peter Street and Stonehome).

Edward Wilson
238 Greystone Cres.,
Ramsay Ward,
Mississippi Mills
edwilson@bell.net
613-256-2866