A controversial plan for the future of Grande Prairie’s Hillside neighbourhood is on hold at City Hall.
Several residents came to last night’s council meeting to voice opposition.
One of those, Bruce Flynn, says they prefer to see single-family homes, rather than rental properties.
“The majority of the east side is rental property. It is run-down. The owners of the homes are not doing nothing to fix up, clean up. The yard’s not being mowed, the trees are over-grown in alleys. There is garbage.”
He adds one of the attractions of Hillside is the bigger lots.
“I don’t have to worry about sitting in my kitchen, cooking supper, and knowing what the neighbour’s cooking. I can sit in my house, have a conversation and it’s a conversation between my family, not between me and my neighbours on the other side through the walls.”
Another resident, Alan Tibbles, was part of a steering committee that came up with the plan. He was surprised by how vocal the opposition is.
“There was just as much opportunity for any people to take part in the conversation as there was for me. I went as a homeowner to the initial meeting hot under the collar and resisting it and I took part in the steering committee and moved in a direction that took care of the homeowners, myself included.”
He thinks replacing old houses with new multi-family units can improve the neighbourhood.
Approval of by-law changes that would put the plan in place are on hold. City Council could still call a special meeting and deal with this before the next election. Last night was the last scheduled council meeting before the October vote.