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New dents in Tin Can Hill
Residents concerned over loss of green space

Jack Danylchuk
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Construction of an access road to Yellowknife's new water treatment plant is raising concern among School Draw residents for the future of green space on Tin Can Hill.

"I understand a new water treatment plant is needed, but what they are doing and the amount of destruction of the landscape is horrible," Mary Tapsell said Tuesday as she returned from walking her dogs.

Tapsell said she visited the hill over the weekend after being away from Yellowknife for a month "and I was just so sad; they've blasted everything."

"I know many other people in the neighbourhood feel this way," she said, echoing what Patrick Scott has heard while campaigning as a candidate for Great Slave in the territorial election.

"It's more of an issue for the city, but there is a lot of concern over the loss of green space," he said.

Tapsell doesn't understand why the project wasn't confined to a much smaller space, and fears that "it's the beginning of a bigger plan to develop all of Tin Can Hill. I'm very disappointed in what the city is doing and how they are doing it."

According to Chris Greencorn, the city's public works manager, the existing road to Pumphouse No. 1 at the end of 48 Street, wasn't large enough to accommodate construction traffic for the $18 million treatment plant.

While enlarging the access road, crews also blasted space for parking areas and two new viewpoints on the north end of the hill overlooking Yellowknife Bay.

City council voted in 2009 to put plans to re-zone Tin Can Hill as a parks and recreation area on hold while the Smart Growth Plan was completed, but also removed references to it as a place for immediate residential development.

City councillor Mark Heyck, who led the fight to re-zone Tin Can Hill, said the Smart Growth Plan clearly identifies it as an area for parks and recreation.

"I will be pressing for that zoning change in the near future," he said.

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