2011 November 24
Dear Midfield Neighbours:
Re: MIDFIELD MOBILE HOME PARK UPDATE
In the early summer of 2010 the previous Council had arrived at a "Go Forward Strategy" for the Midfield Mobile Home Park. As I was campaigning at the time to become your Alderman, many of the Park's residents, as well as many neighbours throughout Winston Heights/Mountview, came to me inquiring as to my position and asking for an intercession. The "Go Forward Strategy" calls for the City to develop a brand new, and much larger, mobile home park on the south side of 16th Avenue and on the east side of the Ring Road. Called the East Hills Mobile Home Park, the plan is to relocate Midfield residents to this new park and then redevelop Midfield as a higher density, mixed use area in accordance with the Winston Heights/Mountview and the 16th Avenue North Urban Corridor Area Redevelopment Plans.
I believe that removing current residents is a deeply flawed approach to redeveloping a neighbourhood.
During the campaign I pledged to advocate on behalf of the residents for a different strategy that respected the two most important components of life in Midfield: the convenience of its inner-city location; and, the amazing sense of community that the Park has nurtured. Since that time I have been trying to convince my colleagues on Council that there is a better way forward. This has been difficult for two reasons:
Given its complexity, Midfield was an extremely difficult issue for the previous Council and both returning and new members of this Council have been loath to reopen this polarizing debate. However, I am persevering in my advocacy. A major report shedding light on all these issues is coming before Council in December. Come what may, construction has yet to commence at East Hills so whatever Council decides, Midfield will remain open for much longer than the 2012 close listed in the "Go Forward Strategy." I am sincerely saddened by the delay in a definitive decision and the associated uncertainty of your living situation. As always, please feel free to call my office and send me your thoughts at 403-268-5330 or by EMAIL.
- the decision to build the East Hills Mobile Home Park was the complicated outcome of many contributing factors - to my mind, the most important being that Council wanted to preserve the investment that Midfield residents have made in their homes (the major value of a mobile home unit is dependent on whether there is a plot dedicated to that unit, and the current Go Forward Strategy responds to this reality);
- it remains unclear whether the "horse has left the barn;" the last year has been spent studying where the greater burden to Calgary's tax-payers lies:
- continuing with the current relocation strategy and continuing to build a giant mobile home park on the eastern edge of the city;
- stopping building East Hills and finding a transition strategy that keeps Midfield residents in Winston Heights; or,
- in both building East Hills as well as pursuing a transition strategy.
ALDERMAN, WARD 9