An online petition opposing the possible development of Watrous Park in Prince George has garnered, so far, 145 signatures.
The city is looking at selling Watrous Park to a developer, who is proposing to build a four-storey, 90-unit seniors’ assisted-living complex.
“As a resident and property owner of the Crescents Neighborhood, specifically the area surrounding Watrous Park, I oppose the sale of my neighborhood playground and lawn bowling facility located at 377 Watrous Street and 388 Wainright Street,” writes Natalie Warren who organized the petition. “The proposed change to the zoning of this area to multiple residential housing’ (RM5) does not mesh with the surrounding residential area, the majority of which are single family homes.”
She says the proposal will negatively affect the area of the Crescents neighborhood in which it is proposed. A complex, as described in the notice, sent only to residents residing within 30 metres of the park, would, she says:
- Diminish the green space, natural beauty and recreational options in the area.
- Destroy a well-used and historical public recreation site from the community.
- Result in increased traffic (employees and resident visitors) in a residential area with little current traffic and young families.
- Result in increased noise pollution due to the increase in traffic and emergency vehicles.
- Create a commercial/work environment amongst a revitalizing and close-knit family neighborhood.
- Be a waste of previously spent and future taxpayer dollars. A new playground was installed in 2019 and replacing the bowling Green will also have significant costs.
- Result in decreased property values of the homes/properties closest to the proposed development.
“I vehemently oppose the proposed sale of our beloved and well used park,” Warren writes. “Living within 30 metres of this city park and lawn bowling green, I have witnessed not only use of the site, but increased use, as new and young families move into the area. The City of Prince George has identified multiple sites across the Prince George community, several if which they identify as appropriate for this type of development in the Official Community Plan. These properties do not require the unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer dollars that will result from selling the property that is currently home to Watrous Park and the Lawn Bowling Club.”
She points out the Official Community Plan, the Crescents Neighborhood Plan, and the Official Prince George Parks Plan all recognize the importance of Watrous Park to the neighbourhood.
The city is soliciting public feedback on the proposal until 5 p.m. on Nov. 20. Should this process proceed, it would require a public hearing. Should the rezoning get council approval, the city would also explore building a new lawn bowling facility elsewhere in the city.
You can find the petition here.