Part of the City of Saint John’s Road Map for Growth has citizens worried about the future of some of its green space as land adjoining Tucker Park and Rockwood Park is being looked at for possible development.
Cathy Brown and Doug Orford are part of the Tucker Park Recreation Association, which was formed after the city said it would examine the possibility of developing some of the unused park zoned land.
Brown feels society is measured by how it treats the most vulnerable.
“Right now the most vulnerable are our parks, our coastline and our green spaces and when they’re vulnerable, we’re vulnerable and our city becomes vulnerable to lose its heart,” Brown said.
Tucker Park Beach itself is not part of the discussion according to the mayor, who says a number of possibilities need to be explored in the bigger context of the city fiscal challenges.
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“We may never do anything,” said Don Darling. “But I think it’s important that we at least explore ideas and options that can be a puzzle piece in a broader puzzle that can help Saint John move toward a more sustainable future.”
Opponents counter by saying developing green space won’t solve the city’s money problems.
“This is basically a flawed short term solution,” added Orford. “The problems that we have are long term and that’s where they should be focusing their concerns.”
Not everyone around the council table is convinced either.
“There’s been no discussion at city hall on what we hope to do there,” said deputy mayor Shirley McAlary. “I’m not prepared to rezone it to residential just to have a few houses built there in time.”
Residents say they will now poll individual councillors for their feelings on the matter.