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Scaled down growth study approved

Lisa Scott
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 29/05) - A scaled-down version of the city's residential growth study was accepted by council this week, but some residents are still unhappy with its recommendations.

The controversial study that recommends housing developments for 15 sites in and around the city has been bounced from city committee to administration to public forums and back again since it came out in May.

A reworked implementation plan came before council Monday night, with only three of the proposed sites to infill with houses in the short term plan.

The Bartam Trailer Court on the corner of Franklin and School Draw Avenues, the corner of Gitzel and Matonabee and the Niven Lake subdivision were the only sites that made the cut for 2005.

Development of Tin Can Hill, Con Camp and Negus Point are on the development block starting next year, while three sites in the Taylor Road area and land west of the Airport won't be examined until 2008.

The scaled-down version doesn't sit well with Andrea Markowski.

The Yellowknife resident has been speaking out against the study on behalf of a group of concerned residents since it came out.

"The residential growth study and its implementation is wrongheaded and fundamentally flawed," she told councillors Monday.

The only way to fix it is to start again, she said.

Councillors continue to squabble over sections of the plan, with Kevin O'Reilly pushing for an inventory of all the city's green spaces, while Coun. Doug Witty wanted to know if that could even be budgeted for.

Witty also asked for a proper debate at council over the growth study. Without it, he said he couldn't support the strategy. "I'm flabbergasted at council's direction on this," he said.

Alan Woytuik joined Witty, saying the process was flawed and didn't provide for the development needed in the city. "We're not meeting the needs of this community as far as supplying land," he said.

Bob Brooks and Dave McCann supported the plan, with McCann calling it "a very good starting point."

The plan was approved to come to council, with several changes to be added to the study by administration before it comes before council again.

The changes included: The city approaching land owners with undeveloped lots to encourage redevelopment, revising the green space map to remove parking lots and reviewing population projections.

Witty and Woytuik voted against the recommendation for council to adopt the strategy. Brooks, McCann, O'Reilly and Wendy Bisaro voted in favour of it. Councillors Mark Heyck and Blake Lyons were absent.