It has been some time since I have felt compelled to publicly comment on local affairs but the proposed seniors complex near Banks Crescent/Gowan Street warrants some input.
Firstly, I believe we should fully support such a facility being located in our community, assuming these proponents are financially and technically capable of completing and operating such a project. Also the proposed mix of “market units” as well as “care units” should minimize the risk and make the complex more livable for all.
The only problem is the unsuitable location.
I am sure many folks will come forward with the obvious issues such as road access, clay banks, traffic congestion, fire apparatus access, stability, ambulance access, etc. So I won’t dwell on those.
In my opinion, the following two issues make this location a non starter.
As we get older, one of our primary desires is to maintain our independence. Doing things ourselves means having the ability to access the bank, post office, coffee shop, library or church. Getting our own groceries, going to the doctor or dentist, drug store and Thrift Shop.
None of that will be possible from this proposal. Depending on a friend with a car, calling a cab or getting a bus ride is notbeing independent.
Many of these folks will be isolated from the community and the lifestyle they have been accustomed to.
I also believe the risk of interfering with the spring that feeds our wonderful fish hatchery is far too great.
I understand this water quality is ideal for fish rearing and also that over the years the volume is slowly reducing. I would think putting a complex of this size on top of land that may be contributing to this ground water source would be questionable at best. The possibility of losing the fish hatchery water supply is unthinkable.
I believe our mayor, council and planners should be making every effort to work with these folks to obtain a suitable property close to the downtown core.
This would save millions in construction costs and servicing but more importantly locate the facility where the residents should be living.
Support would also have to come from the entire community in order to have a suitable parcel removed from theAgricultural Land Reserve. Ideal sites, already serviced, would be along Victoria Road North, Quinpool, Turner or possiblyBlair.
Don’t allow this proposal to struggle and possible die when we have perfect sites on serviced land in the downtown core.This is our opportunity to get our priorities right.