Newspaper Article – Town Hall Meeting

Published in The Guardian March 1, 2007

Most people at public meeting want Upton Farm preserved as green space

Preservation Network wants development freeze to allow citizen consultation

A majority of the 70 people who attended a public meeting Monday night on the future of the Upton Farm land package want the area preserved as green space.

“A show of hands indicated they were squarely behind having the area remain park land,” said Charlottetown-Spring Park MLA Wes MacAleer, who hosted the meeting.

“For a lot of these people, it’s very emotional because they own property in the area.”

MacAleer said he would like to see some questions answered for the citizens. He called the development plan sketches “intense.”

The Upton Farm Preservation Network is calling for a freeze on development to allow for citizen consultation on the area’s future, something the network says never happened.

In August 2006, Charlottetown city council approved a development plan from Canada Lands, which owns the property.

City planning manager Don Poole said the first phase of road work is scheduled to begin this spring and some streets may be complete by July.

Kirsten Connor, a development opponent, said citizens were asked to rubberstamp a development plan after land use had been decided rather than being asked what should happen with it.

“It should have been discussed at the very beginning ‘what should that land be used for’ instead of just putting it forth as a proposition `we’re going to put a subdivision there’.”

Because of changes to the electoral map, the land is inside the district in which MacAleer will run in the next election.