A Concert on the Upton Farmlands?

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 Charlottetown City Hall

On Jan. 30, 2008 the Council of the City of Charlottetown met with members of the Upton Farm Preservation Network.

The Council asked the UFPN for its opinion on the use of Upton Farm as a potential concert site. The UFPN was told that the concert, if held, would take place on the portion of the Upton Farm located on the north side of the Trans Canada Highway. (This is not the Beach Grove Home side, as has been erroneously reported in some media, but the side bordered by the Trans Canada Hwy and the Upton Road.)

The Council requested a reply from the UFPN as soon as possible, as apparently a decision on where to hold a major concert on PEI is very close to being made.

This was our reply to City Council:

Feb. 1, 2008

Dear Mayor [Clifford] Lee and Council:

After much consideration of your request regarding using Upton Farm as a concert venue our reply must be as follows:

1. Since the working group is only a fraction of the Network, it would be presumptuous, on such an important issue as this, to take a stand without extensive and time-consuming consultation.

2. The Network has not been approached by Canada Lands Corporation for an opinion on this matter, even though the first of a series of consultation meetings took place Jan. 31, 2008, and this issue did not arise.

In view of the above and given that a) the primary focus of the Network is the ‘long term’ preservation of the land as greenspace, and b) we have been assured the current proposal to use the land for a concert venue is a ‘short term, one off’ proposal, the feeling of the Upton Farm Preservation Network working group is that we should remain neutral on this matter.

Again, we want to forward our sincere thanks for the gracious reception we received, as well as for your expressed commitment to continued support and co-operation, regardless of our decision.

Standing together we can reach our goal of preserving the Upton Farm.

Most sincerely and on behalf of the Upton Farm Preservation Network,

Kirsten Connor

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5 Responses to “A Concert on the Upton Farmlands?”

  1. Randy Dandy Says:

    The Upton Farm Preservation Group wishes to remain neutral on this issue?!? The only reasons I can see you remaining neutral is because if you:
    1) Agree to allow CLC to permit the concert on their land you open the door to allowing them to proceed with the development that they want as they are helping the City with the concert. The City might then look more favourably on CLC as they will help the city gernerate a lot of income derived from the tourism dollars the concert will generate.
    2) Oppose the concert will displease the city of Charlottetown and again might cause them to look more favourably upon CLC.

    As a concerned citizen I expect more leadership from the UFPN rather than the fence sitting approach you are taking. CLC and the City of Charlottetown included the UFPN in this meeting when there was no need to do so at all. As far as I understand things CLC owns the land and can proceed with the concert without your permission, all they need is the permission of the city. Since CLC has agreed to halt development of the land due to the concerns UFPN has raised, it is only right that they include you in deciding whether or not a concert should be held there?
    Frankly speaking I am very concerned about the enviornmental impact such a concert would have on such a enviornmentally sensitive area. I thought UFPN stood up the the those who wish to protect the land? You can’t have it both ways Kirsten, stand up for the land you have sworn to defend and stop allowing political concerns to corrupt your beliefs. DO NOT ALLOW THE CONCERT or step down from your position and allow someone who is truly willing to fight for Upton farms to take over!!

  2. Hans Connor Says:

    Hey Randy Dandy, I think you’ve got a lot of gall to talk about “standing up” for beliefs and then hiding behind a pen name. The Network is not preventing you from taking any action to stand up for your own beliefs. If you are concerned get off your a** and do something about rather than hang a set of expectations on others. Did you elect them to do anything? No? Then they are responsible only to themselves and have no position to step down from. The Network was the only group of people that picked up the torch to prevent the development for your benefit and the community’s and they did that. They fought for and won a moratorium on development. You should be saying thanks to them. The approaches they have taken thus far have been successful; perhaps you could give them the benefit of the doubt on this point too given their success (to date).

    And while you’re doing that, maybe you should consider that it was unfair for the Mayor and CLC to invite the Network to this meeting and put the Network in this position in the first place. You would think that CLC had better things to do with their energy than play silly petty games with local politicians. You have misstated the facts which may be skewing your perspective (maybe you are doing this on purpose for spin purposes): The city asked CLC for permission to use the land NOT vice versa as you stated. You’re right, though, CLC does not need the Networks approval to grant or deny the request from the city.

    I think it is very much appreciated that CLC has agreed to halt development plans temporarily and I hope that CLC includes the Network and other concerned individuals in making a plan for this property for the future that preserves the areas as green space.

    By the way, I am not a member of the Network and these are my own opinions. I do not represent the Network in in any way. Like you, I am a concerned citizen and my hope is that Upton Farm is preserved as natural area in the long-term.

  3. Garry Doyle Says:

    Well said, Hans! It’s easy for Randy Dandy to hide in the weeds and take pot shots at others who have devoted a great deal of un-paid time and energy to fight for something which will benefit all Islanders. I think the UFPN is doing a great job in helping to save this jewel of a property from reckless development and to preserve it as a green space for all to enjoy. Keep up the great work, UFPN !! Your focus is quite correctly on the long-term preservation of the land and not on whether it should be used as a one-off concert venue. Not to worry, there will always be a few Randy Dandies out there who are quick to criticize, but slow to actually come forward and do something constructive to help.

  4. Randy Dandy Says:

    Hans

    Seems as if I have touched a nerve. Usually such a vitrolic attack is launched when there is the perception that there is some truth to that which created such a heated responce. Allow me to respond:
    Hans rightly points out that I am hiding behind a pen name and for very very good reasons which I shall keep to myself. I can say that I am in no way affiliated with the City or CLC or UFPN in any way.
    1) Since you do not know who I am you have no idea what I have done for the Island and for its precious enviornment. Your comments about getting off of my ass and doing something are therefore moot as I am doing something. Unfortunately I expected your group to be more proactive with regard to this matter, obviously I was wrong.
    2) It was not unfair of the City and CLC to invite UFPN to the meeting regarding the concert. Since UFPN has set itself up as the “defenders” of Upton Farms and did great work to get the moratorium on development, it is only natural that they would consult UFPN in case they did have a problem with the concert (which they should.) It would be quite a mess for the City to proceed with the concert plans only to find out in mid step that UFPN opposed the concert and delayed it possibly ruining the event all together. UFPN cannot have it both ways Hans. UFPN is clearly playing politics here as they are willing to sacrifice their clearly stated purpose in order to avoid having to make a decision that could put them in a bad light with the City. I am sorry but you cannot seriously expect me to believe that the Mayor and CLC were wrong to invite UFPN to this meeting, they WOULD have been wrong NOT to consult with UFPN.
    3) My purposes here are anything but “Spin purposes” as you have stated. I am very disappointed in UFPN’s position regarding this concert and I am merely expressing that concern on your forum. I had hoped that I would have your groups backing in trying to stop this concert at Upton Farms but your group is too busy dancing around the issue for fear that having to make a decision would paint UFPN in a corner. You have said as much when you pointed out that in your opinion it was “unfair of the Mayor and CLC to invite the Network to this meeting and put the network in this position in the first place. UFPN IS in “THAT” position and the sooner it realizes that the better of it will be. On a side note you clearly think I may have an ulterior motive here as your “spin” comment clearly shows. Since I cannot reveal myself I cannot blame you for that belief but rest assured, I am not involved with the City, CLC or UFPN in anyway.

  5. Hans Connor Says:

    Randy Dandy, my response was not heated. If you felt something maybe it was guilty conscience. Touched a nerve? Yeah, you suggested someone’s belief was corrupted and if you check out the last names, you can figure out what nerve was touched. That being said, I am not a member of UFPN and have no role in their organization. In your second post, you make a number of references that it is my organization. It is not. I support their efforts and read the blog. I am a concerned citizen like you. You are entitled to your opinions, but my view is that if your criticism’s are to have any validity, then you should make your perspective apparent rather than being anonymous. Moreover, my further point is that if you don’t like how UPFN is handling things you can go and handle things yourself. Start another Upton Farm protection group, write letters to the editor, call your politicians. And good luck to you. My opinion is that it is unfair to lob anonymous complaints and slurs at the one group that has, so far, achieved some success in stopping development on the property. It is also not very helpful or productive. The UPFN can defend itself and its approach if it chooses to do so. It is not my business or intention to do so. Indeed, I am trying to avoid any comment and how they are handling things. My point is that it is you have no right to have expectations of how they are handling things, your suggestion that someone’s beliefs have been corrupted are baseless. If you don’t like something go out and do something; don’t just make anonymous comments on blogs. All that does is distract everyone from achieving the overall goal.

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