Planning of Neighbourhood Parks – earlier rather than later

The city spend millions of dollars planning neighbourhood facilities master plans. The current process is to wait until the neighbourhood is about 50% built out. We do this to allow resident input into the plan. I have concerns with this process:

  1. First of all it may take years to get 50% build out and the initial home owners are left with no recreation facilities for a long time
  2. I respect resident input, but I would surmise that most neighbourhoods would want the same type of facilities: Ice rink, open green space, maybe a ball diamond and a soccer field. The trail will go in according to city policy but where?
  3. This input provides just a snap shot in time 50% of residents, not the full 100% and not all the future residents over the life span of a neighbourhood.
  4. Often we put a trail or a playground next to a home that does not want it. If the plan was in place at the time of purchase then we would avoid this conflict. Everyone would know right from the start

I think we should be doing this planning process right at the beginning. Along side the development of the Area Structure Plan. This has many benefits one of which would be to engage the developer at this initial planning phase and potentially partner with them to fund these facilities. Having recreation infrastructure in place while they are selling lots would make the area much more marketable for them, a better outcome for residents and lower the public dollar input. Seems like a win win

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