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Edmonton residents taking legal action against city over greenspace developments
Kim Smith, CTV Edmonton
Published Saturday, April 9, 2016 5:29PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, April 9, 2016 6:40PM MDT
A group of Edmonton residents are taking legal action against the city over a plan to build on surplus school sites, left up for grabs by the school boards.
The group called ACT for Community says residents were not consulted over what to build on the sites.
“The very people that are paying for this… we’ve been silenced,” said Barry Kossowan, president of ACT for Community.
In the Haddow neighbourhood, the city plans to rip up the greenspace and build row housing right down the middle.
“Give us a school first. And if you can’t give us a school, give us a say in how the land is used. That’s all we’re asking,” said Kossowan.
“(It’s been) one infraction after another, in processes, in procedures, in policies and in law. So it’s never been done right.”
The Haddow development is one of 20 surplus school sites in Edmonton now dedicated to the First Place Housing program.
The program allows buyers to own the home, but put off paying for the land for five years.
ACT for Community says the program breaches two sections of the Municipal Government Act by providing a loan and undervaluing the lots.
The court filing goes before a judge on Thursday.
“Residents should have had a say in what the land use would be. But that was taken away from us,” said Kossowan.
Development on the Haddow site is slated for this year.
With files from CTV’s Breanna Karstens-Smith