News / Edmonton

Haddow Park affordable housing court challenge postponed

Act for Communities taking city to court

Residents are taking the city to court over the fate of Haddow Park.

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Residents are taking the city to court over the fate of Haddow Park.

A judge postponed a court challenge from Haddow residents against the city of Edmonton Thursday.

The Act for Communities group is fighting plans to put affordable housing on a surplus school site in Haddow Park.

On Thursday afternoon, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge told the group’s lawyer there are a number of procedural issues to sort out before going forward, and ordered that they serve developers Rohit Communities and Landmark Homes.

The case will not proceed until the developers, who were slated to start work on the land next month, have been notified and invited to take part in the case.

The city has designated 20 surplus school sites – sites that were initially put aside for schools but deemed unnecessary by school boards – to the First Place Homes Plan, which puts homebuyers into their first homes with government assistance.

The city moved in 2006 to rezone all the sites at once, with an exemption from the province to avoid public hearings and rezonings at each site.

Act for Communities, led by Barry Kossowan, argues residents should have been consulted years ago. The group has raised thousands of dollars to cover legal fees, and is making a case that the city is not selling land at fair market value under provincial rules and that its housing plan violates the Municipal Government Act.

Some residents say they do, in fact, need a school in the area, and that children are being bussed outside of the community.

“(The city) has done everything they can to enrich the developers, at the expense of the communities,” said resident Neil Dunwald.

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