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May 27, 2009

The Timing of Del Mastro's Survey "Couldn't Have Been Worse": Peterborough City Planner

"The timing with [Dean Del Mastro's Little Lake] survey couldn't have been worse for us," said City planner Mary Gallop, at the City of Peterborough's first community meeting to develop a master plan for Little Lake.

"Many people who turned out to Tuesday's meeting wanted to vent about MP Del Mastro's proposal for a 7.2-acre parcel of land where the Trent Severn headquarters are currently located," noted MyKawartha.com.

Citizens aren't happy about having their Federal MP jumping the gun on the city's own planning process - particularly given that their municipal tax dollars are being spent to pay The Planning Partnership, a planning and design firm based in Toronto, to take the community through a community-based planning process to determine the future of an historic and much-loved public green space.

That's not to say that they're entirely happy with the city-led planning process. According to The Peterborough Examiner, citizens who showed up for the kick-off meeting grilled City officials about the integrity of its own planning process for Little Lake:

There was applause when Rob Cory asked why the city would want to reverse its policy of buying waterfront property in that area to create more waterfront space for public use.

“The city taxpayers bought frontage for its natural environment and public use,” he said. “Why would the city want to reverse that policy?

“Now they want to put a wall of condominiums up there.”

Another person at the table said that’s Del Mastro’s plan, not the city’s proposal.

Del Mastro’s plan has brought people together to defend the green space, said Mary-Anne Johnston, a Lakefield resident.

“His plan [to allow a private developer to build on the Trent-Severn Waterway headquarters property that’s owned by the federal government ] has totally galvanized people against it,” she said.

Meanwhile, citizens continue to sign a petition designed to declare Del Mastro's ballot about the future of Little Lake null and void. After all, voting about the future of Little Lake before citizens have had a chance to participate in the city-led planning process (which will continue into the summer) certainly isn't in the best interests of the citizens of Peterborough. That certainly begs the question: in whose best interest is it to have those ballots signed, mailed, and delivered to Ottawa in such a hurry?

Related:

Impolitical is also asking questions: "Why Is Dean Del Mastro Taking Surveys on Behalf of Private Developers in Peterborough?"

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