Click here to email Scott Johnston
Photo taken by: Scott Johnston
Debate is expected to go well into the evening at City Hall as several community groups are on hand to oppose the idea of converting surplus school sites into seniors housing.
Eight locations are being explored.
The community groups say the housing will shrink the size of area parks and playgrounds.
"Where there was a soccer field or a community rink shack built, or a baseball diamond, we're trying to respect that because they're developed and they are in use by the community," said Tim McGargar, who is over seeing the project on behalf of the city. "We know they care very much about them so we're doing our best to have buildings built on building sites only."
The eight sites are the first to be considered from surplus school locations since 2009 when a couple of pilot projects were established.
Seniors housing is in hot demand.
"If you look at our forecast for aging, the number of seniors in Edmonton by the time we reach our vision by 2036 will exceed the number of children in Edmonton. We really need to create an infrastructure in place so people will have more choice when they get into their older years."
McGargar says if city council rezones the land for seniors housing, it'll still take several years before construction begins, because the province will have to step in and pair up housing projects with social agencies to provide the housing.
The neighbourhoods under consideration are Caernarvon, Miller, Overlanders, Wedgewood Heights, Bulyea Heights, Blue Quill, Sakaw and Kiniski Gardens. (sj)