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Here is a letter that the Cambrian Heights community association sent my office. I am door knocking Cambrian this week to talk with residents. I want to hear from you on this issue, and any others you might have, so email my office at ward04@calgary.ca. There is another into session on May 9th at the Highwood community Association.

 

 

Cambrian Heights Community Association

Celebrating 62 Years of Community, 1956-2018

MUST WE LOSE  A CAMBRIAN HEIGHTS PARK?

LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR

“Parks are an essential part of quality urban living and parks and pathways have a special place in the hearts of Calgarians. We value our parks, actively using them for sports, festivals and exercise as well as for quiet respite and enjoyment of nature. Great parks contribute to healthy communities and a high quality of life in Calgary.”

Anne Charlton, Parks Director, The City of Calgary *

 

NEED?

In a notice from City of Calgary Parks dated March 12, 2018 it was noted that, “To continue to meet the needs of the community for the next several years, we will be expanding the cemetery into the south-west corner of the site, currently used as an off-leash area.”

Construction of the new South Calgary cemetery, east of Ralph Klein Park, is expected to require one to two years, three if problems arise.

The life span of Queen’s Park, within its existing boundaries and with its current marketing of burial plots, is 3 to 4 years. Queen’s Park Cemetery could control its sale of “pre-sold” casket burial plots to extend the lifespan of Queen’s Park amply beyond 4 years. In 2017, well over 500 casket burial plots were pre-sold by Queen’s Park Cemetery. These plots represent space that may not be needed for 5, 10, 15 or more years. 200 plots were required for “at need” casket burial.

There is no shortage of time, and the City of Calgary will be able to meet its obligation to provide “at-need” casket burial plots. The new South Calgary Cemetery can open before Queen’s Park Cemetery reaches its capacity. For 25 years the City of Calgary has been served by one cemetery.

 

AT WHAT COST?

This is not the first time Calgary Parks have pursued cemetery development in this community reserve park. Their first attempt ended on July 24, 2006 with a motion passed by Calgary City Council that directed Calgary Parks to “Not pursue the disposition of the southwest corner site (Block 19, Plan 5971HB) adjacent to Queen’s Park Cemetery for Cemetery purposes“.

In 2006, one of Council’s considerations was “The estimated cost per acre of acquiring the reserve land from the Joint Use Reserve Fund is $900K to $1.2M, whereas the cost per acre to acquire new land in the area of the city that is currently under-serviced (i.e. south Calgary) would be $200K to $300K a saving of $700K to $900K per acre.” The Cambrian Heights community reserve covers an area of approximately 7.8 acres.

 In 2006, the cost to the City of Calgary in acquiring the Cambrian Heights park reserve land for cemetery use was estimated to be from $7.0 to $9.3 million.

What will the cost be in 2018?

CEMETERY BUSINESS PLAN?

The City’s desire for cemetery use redesignation of this community reserve park is in pursuit of a wish to see two active cemeteries serving Calgary, one in the north and a second in the south.

Calgary Parks is considering three potential sites for a new North Calgary cemetery.

The community reserve park is desired by Calgary Parks to provide 5 to 7 years of space for Queen’s Park Cemetery. Their “in boundary” life span of 3 to 4 years, plus community reserve space provision of 5 to 7 years would give Calgary Parks from 8 to 11 years to site, build and open a new North Calgary cemetery.

Is it reasonable to sacrifice a valuable community reserve  park to expedite a wish by Calgary Parks to pursue a “Two Cemetery” business plan?

MUST WE LOSE A CAMBRIAN HEIGHTS PARK?

TELL THE CITY WHAT YOU THINK.

 

CONTACT:

The City of Calgary, Office of the Mayor

Phone: 403 268 5622

Email: themayor@calgary.ca

 

The City of Calgary, Councillor Sean Chu

Phone: 403 268 3727

Email: sean.chu@calgary.ca

 

Cambrian Heights Community Association

Email: president@cambrianheightscommunity.com

 

For more information go to the Cambrian Heights Community Association webpage at, cambrianheightscommunity.com

* Excerpt from “Imagine Parks, a long term vision of Calgary’s public parks and open space”. 2014

Sean Chu

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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