Scandal has erupted over a proposed library being built in the Capilano area.
Construction of a new 1,000-square-metre Capilano library is set to start this year near 67th Street and 99th Avenue, backing on the Fulton ravine.First off, the concerns about "shortcuts" is, as always, practically insane. Whenever residents get so concerned about "shortcuts" they should ask why the City of Edmonton is always making roads that aren't shortcuts to begin with.
But Joanne Groot worries the facility will bring noise, traffic and troublemakers into what she says is a peaceful community.
“For environmental purposes, I don’t want anything over there,” Groot says. “It should be kept as a ravine … The green space in this city is dwindling. Why do you put it in front of our houses?”
One-way 67th Street might become a two-way road, which could increase shortcutting from 98th Avenue, she says.
Secondly, bad planning by the city left this quagmire in place to begin with. As you can see from the Google Maps screenshot above, there was formerly a really big piece of land (red circle) that could easily hold an 11,000 square foot library and maybe even some parking. Another piece of empty land (blue circle) sits above the black "X" that designates where the library is planning to be built, presumably at the loss of some trees. The area in the blue circle could easily handle...say...a skate park, without moving a single tree.
Why did I say skate park? Because recently the City of Edmonton built a skate park right smack dab in the middle of that red circle. Here's a street view level showing the skate park, which wasn't there at the time the aerial shot was taken. This is, in other words, a new thing that has gone in there. You would also think they could probably fit a library in that space instead, but I digress. The key point to take away is that the skate park is new. So what do you make, then, of this?
The proposal has been in the works for years.Wait, the proposal has been in the works for years? So as you have this proposal coming along, you decide to put a skate park in the big area that you could put a library with access from Terrace Road? Why would you do that? I understand you were hopeful for the firehall idea, which I assume from the description and proposed to be the area in the blue circle, but until you were certain couldn't you have waited on that oh-so-critical skateboard park?
A larger building was originally slated to go around the corner on 101st Avenue on the site of a demolished fire station.
But architects felt there wasn’t enough room for parking close to the entrance and it would be overshadowed by a nearby apartment, Land says.
“We have been looking for a location. It wasn’t easy to find a site where a library could be built.”
They’re still doing a traffic assessment and transportation surveys, including whether to make the entire street two-way or just as far south as the library, she says.
The ravine location should let patrons enjoy nature all year, and might allow the treed area to be extended, Land says.
“We want the library to celebrate the ravine and the green space,” she says. “We’re looking at having the east wall … made out of windows so people can look into the ravine.”
Come to think of it, why is the city so gung ho to build a new
Which is to say, if the City of Edmonton is long-term that interested in having a library in the Capilano area close to where the mall is today, it makes far more sense to remain a tenant of the mall until -- and this day probably isn't that far away -- that another major space opens up in powercentre which Capilano Mall has become. Walmart isn't making a Supercentre there, for example, which is usually a sign they won't stick around for long. In other words, despite the city's concern that is "isn't easy to find a site" to build the library, there will soon be a glut of available space in the area, that meets all the criteria the city is looking for building a new building, and still keeps the residents happy.
Not that we've let them off the hook yet, mind you. The NIMBY-ism in the objections to the library are actually pretty funny, even the ones that have a serious objection behind them.
But Joanne Groot worries the facility will bring noise, traffic and troublemakers into what she says is a peaceful community.Libraries are quiet! They have those "shhhhhh!" signs and everything.
More importantly, how much traffic do they really think the Capilano Library is going to get? I'd rather object to this based on my tax dollars being thrown into this expensive LEEDS-qualifying library that at the end of the day not many people are going to be using. Who looks at their local branch library and thinks "holy shit this place is generating a lot of traffic". Let's go down the road to Bonnie Doon Mall, where the library is a standalone building. Let's look at a Google Maps view of the parking lot around the library. Cars close to the bottom are actually probably mall parking, possibly even Sears employee parking.
Looks packed, doesn't it?
Jim Richardson, who complains that he won't be able to see deer in the ravine anymore, is worried that the library doesn't have any transit access -- which is odd but not really, EPL says that their LEEDS certification will depend on transit access and in this fight I give residents a slight edge over the city in the credibility of possibly dumb statements. So let's say more parking will occur because of lacklustre transit. Bonnie Doon shows us that's not a problem.
Joanna Groot isn't finished complaining, though. Along with traffic and noise, she says troublemakers will come along. By troublemakers, I assume she means homeless people, and while there has been a very public problem with homeless people nesting at the Stanley Milner Library downtown, that just isn't a problem at the smaller libraries out in the little neighbourhoods. If she doesn't mean homeless people, troublemakers generally aren't found in libraries. Besides, Fargos is already there, as are the low income rental apartments littering the area. If trouble hasn't found Capilano by now, it probably never will.
Groot also complains about the "dwindling green space" in the city, which sounds fair enough except that the Capilano area already has a boatload of green space. It also has not-green space, otherwise known as development, which is also known as where non-homeless people park their keisters at night. The section of Fulton Ravine being impacted here is actually very small, it's already a little pocket between Terrace Road and 101 Avenue. There's another small pocket south of Terrace Road, but then north of 101 Avenue the Fulton Ravine extends all the way to Gretzky Drive, is broken up by 106 Avenue, but then resumes all the way to the river valley. That's a fair bit of green space. On the east side of 50th street past the A&W lies another big patch of green that eventually connects to Tiger Goldstick Park, a massive greenspace between the upgraders and the Gold Bar neighbourhood all the way up to Gold Bar Park and the pedestrian bridge to Rundle. So I don't think a loss of local green space is going to be a problem in the area.
I know that Groot was talking green space in the city overall, not just in the Terrace Heights area. Still, when you're being NIMBY about things, you can't be worried about the green space in the back yards of others.