Project on old arena lands moving hastily

April 8, 2014   ·   0 Comments

I just read an article in the King Sentinel that the proposed “transitional care facility” is moving ahead at the old Schomberg arena site. I’ve got a few questions.
Where was the public input on this? I never saw a notice of a public meeting anywhere. Maybe I needed to be scouring the public announcements in the paper religiously but I’d think that for such a huge proposal affecting the town we’d at least receive a notice in the mail of some sort. Even the public input meeting for my local splash park had a large and effective sign announcing the meeting.
Mayor Pellegrini, you’ve been quoted as saying that this proposal is “extremely innovative” yet I’ve seen nothing in the papers explaining why that is so. I’d honestly like to know what makes this proposal “extremely innovative.” I should add that I’ve honestly not heard anyone cite what benefits this would bring to the town, specifically Main Street and the people who  currently live here. Just because something is innovative doesn’t mean it’s great.
How does this proposal benefit the town and the people who live here? It’s a simple question but I haven’t heard anyone answer it. And it’s a valid goal for such a project that will utilize a huge piece of prime real estate that it somehow benefit the residents of the town. My family has no one that would get any benefit from a transitional care facility.
In fact, that area of town will essentially be cut off from our lives now, whereas before we could at least walk through or use the tennis courts. And this is not a unique scenario, as the demographics in my subdivision indicate that very few of us will have any use for this facility.
We have a once in a lifetime opportunity here to take a prime piece of land in the centre of downtown and do something truly special with it. Something that incorporates all the town’s citizens, is publicly accessible and pedestrian friendly, and adds to the charm and character of our charming Main Street.
I feel we are making decisions about this space too hastily and with very little public input or proper outside professional studies. We are squandering this opportunity. You didn’t see Toronto take the corner of Yonge and Dundas and plop a “transitional care facility” there. They put a vibrant square there instead, used by all of its citizens every day.
Finally, about those tennis courts. I’ve only been in Schomberg a short while but have been counting the days until spring so that I can walk over to those tennis courts with my kids to play tennis. Those will be gone now. There is talk of putting them somewhere else, maybe the Trisan Centre. That’s great but I’ll believe it when I see it. The Trisan Centre is no longer a convenient walk from my house. Something as close as possible to the current location would be much more acceptable, because those that live here and specifically those that moved here recently did so partly based on the amenities that are close by. Those tennis courts are one such amenity.
Please don’t compound the anger that we have over the proposal for the arena lands by moving the tennis courts so far from their current spot that they no longer serve the residents they used to serve.
Joe Rosati



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