So, which masterminds decided to put a light industrial zoned B.C. Transit facility at the base of the Cranbrook Hill escarpment?
The land was intended to remain as part of the Cranbrook Hill greenbelt, to be used for the enjoyment of today's and future generations of outdoor-minded people.
As I write this, it is Tuesday, the day before the public information meeting to be held on Wednesday at supper time. It is scheduled for one hour. With only that little time allotted, it is sure to be a one-sided conversation.
It seems our parks and natural areas are under attack recently, first in College Heights and now along the UNBC Connector Trail.
This column will be published on Thursday. By then we will know how much the people in Prince George care about the intrusion of an incompatible industrial facility into what is the major natural geographical feature at the western edge of the bowl.
Along with the cutbanks and the two rivers, it is part of what defines Prince George's natural urban environment.
In case you did not read about this new attempt to put the right facility in the wrong location, and did not attend the public session, you might be interested in becoming involved in responding to the misplaced attempt to build this facility just south of the Foothills Boulevard and 18th Avenue intersection. It is not yet a done deal. April Fools Day is still a few weeks away.
The proposed area is used by many on a daily basis. The UNBC Connector Trail was just paved a couple of years ago, connecting 18th Avenue to Ginter's Meadow.
The trail, as well as Ginter's, is used by walkers, joggers, hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, as well as folks walking their pets.
Those who know the area also know that the occasional moose and bear are spotted, as well as foxes.
In fact, the trail is recognized in the 2017 Tourism Prince George Tourist Guide under "Accessible Trails" as going through a forested area. Little did they know at the time of printing.
The land at the base of the hill is shared in the relatively flat areas by residential developments.
There is an apartment complex just north of the proposed site. So much for enjoying the outdoors just a few steps from the complex.
The BCSPCA will be building their new facility just to the east of the site, across from the proposed Foothills Boulevard. extension.
They were looking for a natural setting to get away from the smell of the city's sewage treatment plant. Just a month after that announcement, they get to find out they may be across from another industrial site with noise and fumes 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The facility will be used to house both small as well as large animals seized from cruelty investigations.
Animals, like humans, expect dark nights, relative quiet and clean air.
The proposed use is clearly incompatible with the existing uses. It is not as if Prince George is short of industrial zoned land.
The proposed site is valued more for its current and future use than any readily zoned industrial land.
BC Transit needs a good working facility. I understand that. I am not opposed to the concept, but as someone that loves Prince George and most of the people in it, I am deeply concerned about this senseless proposed location.
An effective infrastructure is crucial to meet the needs of our communities. The funding by the province and federal government is commendable. Let's put the yard in the right location and not in an area that is used daily for recreation and can continue to do so with sensitive development. Foothills is one of the most scenic drives in the city. Let us keep it that way.
The whole concept makes absolutely no sense at all.
I do not claim to be a planner, but the thinkers need to go back to the drawing board.