Waiting on the waterfront
The City of Cornwall heard a presentation on Monday night how the Federal government plans to divest itself of all of its waterfront land in Cornwall by the year 2020.
The lands are currently owned by Transport Canada, who will be handing them over to the Canadian Land Corporation, a Canadian Crown Corporation who will decide the best way to sell them. The City will not be offered first right of refusal, but the lands will be subject to municipal by-laws once they come up for sale.
Suddenly a world of possibilities has fallen into Cornwall’s lap and the role of the Waterfront Committee is going to be more important than ever.
Cornwall City Council must listen to the advice presented to them in the coming years from their Waterfront Committee and more importantly from the public.
What comes to mind is the saga from this time last year, when the public discovered that a local developer wanted to build on lands that overlapped with some of the ball diamonds in Legion Park.
This development would have meant that the ball diamonds be moved and there were concerns from the public that the public view of the waterfront would be blocked by condos for the wealthy.
The public came out strongly against the proposed development in Letters to the Editor and there was a large and vocal faction against the development that went to the PAC meeting on the issue.
That prospect was essentially killed when the Feds announced they were not interested in selling that land last year. Now that things changed, that fight might rear its head again.
To avoid unrest like that in the future, the public should be notified about any discussed development early and their feedback should be heeded.
The opportunity to purchase develop the waterfront lands could be a key to this city’s growth for the next decade, but the community should have its say what that future will look like, and who it will be for.
What do you think should be done with the waterfront lands? Email me a Letter to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org