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Prince Rupert city council stops plans for development at Westview Park
The idea of developing condominiums at Westview Park died on the floor of Prince Rupert council chambers tonight.
The motion to cease the process of looking at developing the Atlin properties came from Councillor Anna Ashley, who said she heard more than enough opposition to the idea at the Oct. 22 public information session to justify stopping the project in its tracks.
"There was the opportunity for anyone that wanted to attend and speak at the meeting ... so I do feel people have had a fair chance for input. I wouldn't make this motion if I didn't," she said, noting the wide variety of reasons for opposing the development.
"There was just some things that really cemented it for me. One clear message was, don't mess with parks ... at the end of the day, I talked with various people on council and I got the feeling the majority of us didn't want this to proceed. Given the limited staff resources we have, I didn't want to use it on this if it was something council wouldn't support."
Ashley found support from Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson, who said the meeting gave her enough feedback to support scrapping the idea.
"I have never been in a community meeting of such a size where the entire group said they didn't want it. It wasn't just Atlin, Graham and 2nd Avenue, it was people from all over Prince Rupert and anyone could have attended," she said, noting there was a larger turnout for this session than for the Pinnacle Pellet Terminal open house.
Mayor Jack Mussallem, however, cautioned council against making a rash decision.
"If we shut it down now one concern, and it is a concern I have, is that we are in a process and there may be people that think they will have the opportunity for input at a public hearing, who may not have been able to attend the public meeting," he said.
"We might be slighting someone by not giving them that opportunity."
In the end, the motion passed with councillors Ashley, Carlick-Pearson, Nelson Kinney and Joy Thorkelson in support. However, council didn't rule out developing the lots currently occupied by the former transition house.
"I'm not saying we stay away from the entire area, I'm saying we stay away from the park," said Carlick-Pearson.
"I would like to see those lots developed," added Councillor Gina Garon.