June 22nd, 2024

London Road Park focus of public hearing

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on May 28, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

A public hearing will be held today at 3 p.m. in council chambers on the proposed rezoning of the southwest corner of London Road Park and the adjacent property for construction of a medium-scale residential housing project.
Opportunity Lethbridge has applied to rezone the space.
In 2018, says a report to be presented by senior community planner Ross Kilgour the London Road Area Redevelopment Plan identified options to improve concerns residents in the area had with safety in the park. One option was to redevelop the southwest corner of the part along with the property at 714 7 St. S. to provide residential housing facing the park.

Kilgour’s report says this would provide more eyes on the park and enable the rest of it to be better utilized.
If the project is approved, the park size would be reduced by about 26.8 per cent in size.
Some residents have expressed opposition to the plan with the president of the London Road Neighbourhood Association, Chandra Daoust, recently telling the Herald the association feels that urban park space is vital to the city and that increased green space would be more beneficial than a housing development. She added there are other properties in the neighbourhood that could be utilized for residential housing instead of the park.
The City says the existing berm and southwest corner of the park create hidden spaces that can’t be seen clearly from the street and that the vision of the LRARRP is to improve the space so it better meets its intended function as a so-called “pocket park.”
The City says that while the London Road area has only 2.4 per cent parks and green space, the second lowest proportion of any neighbourhood in Lethbridge, it also has 4.3 per cent valley space – the sixth highest proportion in the city. And it adds residents have access to other green spaces in adjacent neighbourhoods with all properties having walkable access to a park within 750 metres, “which is considered a reasonable walking distance (typically around seven-nine minutes) by the Canadian Environmental Health Atlas.”
Kilgour’s report says the proposed rezoning aligns with relevant policy in both the Municipal Development Plan and LRARP.
“The proposal would facilitate the creation of much-needed additional homes in the London Road neighbourhood whose population has fallen from a peak of around 5,000 in 1957 to around 3,500 in 2019, a fall of around 30 per cent. This is a natural consequence of household sizes shrinking without the number of homes in the neighbourhood increasing correspondingly,” says the report.
“This reduced population means that all the same infrastructure is now serving fewer people and yet still must be maintained at taxpayer expense. Bringing additional population into the neighbourhood also helps preserve existing amenities and services such as neighbourhood businesses,” the report adds.
A report by project planning lead Logan Bartholow states expanding the park would cost between $600,000-$900,000.
“Lethbridge Land believes that redeveloping the SW corner of the site for housing, alongside upgrades to the remaining park space, is the most effective way to realize the goals of the London Road ARP. Furthermore, this represents a cost neutral option,” says a slide presentation he will be making. at the hearing at the hearing.

Share this story:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments