Lawson Landing Opponent

To the editor:

Dear Sir:

I wish to respond to Tony D'Andrea's letter of Dec. 5. Representing a group which is little more than a local mouthpiece for Edmonton developer Phil Milroy, Mr. D'Andrea states that Milroy's reworking of the Lawson Landing project has addressed the public's concerns without ever explaining how these concerns have been mitigated. Just as Milroy is attempting to do, D'Andrea tries to draw attention away from the fundamental issues of the number of highrises in the project, their height and massing, and the proposed sale by the city of Kerry Park with the ruse that this project will create more public space and improve public access to the waterfront.

Seemingly oblivious to the criticisms of the public and the Advisory Planning Commission, Milroy has come back with the same number of towers (four), the same heights (between 16 and 28 storeys), and occupying the same locations with the hotel being where Kerry Park presently is. The form of the existing public space will be changed by dumping tons of fill into the lake with unknown environmental consequences and the amount of green space will be reduced. Most of the public space that Milroy claims to be creating will be hard surfaced. Our grassed and shaded Kerry Park which features Parks Alive concerts will be gone in all but name which the developer plans to use for an untreed and largely ornamental green area around the Sails. The existing bandshell in the center of the park will be replaced by a performance platform out on the lake and listeners will have to seat themselves on the beach or stand on the boardwalk across the water.

Public access to the waterfront will be significantly reduced as there will be new large buildings where there presently is open space. Queensway west of Water Street will be half its present width and as much as 90% of surface parking in the area will be removed to make room for the highrises. Furthermore, a psychological barrier to the waterfront will be erected by the close positioning of the towers which will obscure the present visual expanse of the lake and mountains. Instead of being welcoming to the general public, the waterfront will become the private enclave of the more than 1500 residents and guests of the complex.

No, Phil Milroy has not addressed the public's concerns over the project but is merely trying to distract us from the fundamental issues of height and density and the loss of real park space and public access to the waterfront. This is all becoming like a man who is trying to sell you a pig for your parlour. When you tell him that you don't want a pig in your parlour, he then tries to seduce you by putting some artificial pearls around its neck.

John Zeger
Citizens for Responsible Community Planning

Story# 5823 / 
Link: Letter of support for project
Link: Man Behind Lawson Landing

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