Diligence needed before making decisions; get involved

It’s frequently been said that if you repeat something often enough it becomes the truth.

It’s frequently been said that if you repeat something often enough it becomes the truth.

The more a person hears the same thing, and from different sources, the more they are likely to take for granted what’s being said is true.

In this day and age of political spin doctors and public relations professionals we’d hope both of those two groups are dealing with the truth — making sure the straight facts get to the public. Sometimes though, the spin provides a different perception.

Therefore, it’s more incumbent on us to investigate and make our own decisions based on our research.

Particularly if you’ve got a job like we do, where we try to present an unbiased report from both sides of a story.

What became apparent to us at Monday night’s council meeting is that some of the people who made major housing purchases in Pierview subdivision had been told something contrary to fact about the future for development adjacent to them.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. It happens, and as we prefaced our remarks, the more it happens the more it’s taken as truth.

Our suggestion then is that people need to be more diligent in seeking answers before investing heavily.

How often have we heard that about the stock market for instance, or other somewhat risky ventures. Yet you’d never think there’s a need to exercise as much caution about your future home would you? Particularly in an established neighbourhood.

One of the things which slipped into the conversation during the discussion Monday night was ‘when Perry Drive is extended to connect with Ryders Ridge Drive and on to Sobeys’ — this is obviously another fallacy that’s making its rounds.

At the eastern end of Perry Drive is a green space. It’s part of the Ryders Ridge subdivision and has been identified in their outline plan and amendments as future municipal reserve.

At the council meeting two weeks earlier, where many of the Pierview residents were in attendance, council approved the concept plan for the adjacent Vista in Ryders Ridge subdivision.

That plan takes advantage of the space already proposed for green space by adding to it. Rezoning, which was approved for Phase 1 of Vista in Ryders Ridge, at the same meeting as the outline plan, designated that adjacent area as PF (public facility) meaning it will eventually become municipal reserve land which is turned over to the town for care in perpetuity.

That’s also consistent with the South Area Structure Plan, which is a statutory document and would require introduction of a bylaw, first reading, a public hearing then consideration of second and third reading before it could be change.

In our opinion, none of that’s going to happen. Perry Drive is not going to be extended. And hopefully we’ve laid another falsehood to rest.

Reflecting back on the Crestview subdivision, we believe councillors were diligent in answering the concerns of residents while balancing their responsibility to ensure sustainable growth of our community. In fact, it’s likely, as Councillor Ken MacVicar suggested, that these very residents won more than any others in town.

The suggestion from Heather Donald that we should be looking at increasing our standards is certainly worthy of further discussion — and it comes at a time when the town is rewriting its Municipal Development Plan which is the overarching guide to the town’s future development.

As well, according to project reports presented to councillors at Monday night’s meeting, town staff are also working on an annexation application to bring more land into the town’s boundary, and proceeding on area structure plans or revisions for the southeast, northeast and south areas.

More interest and public input into the creation of these plans at this stage should ease the anxiety that may come with future proposals for more housing, commercial and industrial activities in Sylvan Lake.