Is Housing the Best Use for this Land?

The Upton Farm is a 246-acre property in Charlottetown, PEI. It is bisected by the Trans-Canada Highway and located between the North River Causeway and the Upton Road traffic light. The fields and mixed woods of the Farm start at the Beach Grove Forest Division and run along the shore of the North River to the proposed location of the Charlottetown arterial highway. The aerial photo above gives you a bird’s eye view of this beautiful property. You can see the Trans-Canada Highway in the middle of the picture. The brown-coloured field to the south of the highway is bordered by Maypoint Road, and it is proposed to build 350 housing units consisting of houses, apartment buildings and town homes here (see the concept plan for the subdivision below). The field to the north of the highway is proposed for business park development. The North River estuary, which runs the length of the Upton Farm property, provides a living for dozens of oyster fishermen who harvest shellfish from its waters.The Upton Farm was once part of the Federal Agricultural Research Farm and was transferred  from Agriculture Canada to the Canada Lands Company in 2001. The CLC is a Crown Corporation created to sell surplus government properties “of large value and local prominence” that are no longer required by the Government of Canada. Its mandate is to optimize the financial value of these propertites. All profits made by the CLC on the sale of these properties are returned to the Government of Canada. Our group believes that since this land was bought and paid for once by the taxpayers of Canada it should be left for the people for the people of Canada. It should be remain as greenspace for social and environmental reasons. The recreational value is immeasureable, as are the benefits from an urban forest to aid with air purification.We need to ask ourselves: is housing the best use for this land? Is it imperative to sell public land when there is no clear need?