If you wish to sign the petition please call:    780-619-5951

To:    The City of Edmonton
Planning & Development Department       
5th floor, 10250 – 101 Street
Edmonton, AB  T5J 3P4

Re:  Rezoning Unit 109, 6104-172 St.  T6M 1G9 (Lessard Shopping Centre Mall)

Recently, we have received a letter informing us that the Muslim Association of Canada is in the process of submitting an application for rezoning the Lessard Shopping Centre from Existing DC2 (697) to a new DC2 that will allow the creation of an Islamic Centre that would serve the whole city of Edmonton.  The proposed Centre includes a private school that would accommodate 150 students.  On December 27, 2009, at a fundraising dinner at Mayfield Inn an announcement was made that the core of the Islamic Centre would include a Mosque that would immediately offer full religious services and congregational prayers.  The project highlights states the following information:

Short term:   Mosque (by February, 2010), Youth Centre, Weekend School, Quraan School
Long term:   Full time elementary school
 (http://edwomencan.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/muslim-association-of-canada-fundraising-dinner/)

 As members of the Lessard community we would like to express our grave concern with and strong opposition to the rezoning proposal.  Over the past many years the Lessard Shopping Centre has served the Lessard community in various ways.  A variety of stores offered a wide range of services such as the ability to purchase groceries and gasoline, walk-in medical clinics, a day care, a public library, a bank, a bar, restaurants, etc.   The proposed rezoning and the subsequent creation of an Islamic Centre that includes a Mosque and a school will limit the use of the Lessard Shopping Centre to families who follow the Islamic faith.  As such, it will serve only a very small portion of the population of the Lessard community.

Our opposition to the proposed rezoning is based on the following reasons:

1)      Lessard Mall is a small shopping center.  It is located in a populated residential area and is designed to serve its community.  It is too small to accommodate an Islamic Centre consisting of a Mosque and a 150-students school.  The size of the parcel of land is 3.2 acres.  An average elementary school requires about 8 acres. This site is too small to provide for appropriate playground and sport fields.  

2)      We are concerned about the increased traffic volume in this small residential area, and the need to accommodate busses transporting students. There are few Muslim families in this area and therefore students will have to be bused to and from other neighborhoods. 

3)      Across from the Lessard Shopping Centre there is a Ukrainian Church.  During religious events, traffic is already high and parking in the neighborhood is an issue.  Many of the participants in these events park at Lessard Mall and the residential areas adjacent to the Church. The proposed Islamic Centre will further aggravate the situation.

4)      The community is surrounded by three schools, located within a short distance from the Lessard Mall – Centennial, Talmud Torah, and Our Lady of The Prairies.  Bus traffic is already very high in our area. Adding a fourth school will increase the traffic volume and the demand for parking that could not be accommodated in the small site, making a difficult situation an unbearable one. 

5)      A number of schools in Edmonton have been designated for closure.   The Muslim Association should consider opening a school on such a property, one that has already been zoned as a school and has the necessary playing fields, instead of converting an existing shopping centre that has served the whole community for many years.

In summary, we, residents of Lessard, urge the City of Edmonton’s Planning and Development Office to reject the proposed rezoning of Lessard Mall.  Our opposition to the proposed plan stems from our strong belief that the transportation and parking implications would have significant negative impact on the quality of our lives and result in a reduction in the property value of our homes. By signing this document, we petition the City of Edmonton Planning and Development to reject the proposed rezoning of Lessard Mall.

Regards,

Residents of Lessard & Neighboring Communities

 

If you wish to sign the petition please call: 780-619-5951

 If you agree with this petition you are invited to share your concerns using this Blog

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5 Responses to “Our Petition”


  1. 1 lessardcommunity June 30, 2010 at 2:26 am

    In addition to the petition, I think there is another crucial issue:

    o A community center/mall needs to serve the local community
    o The unintended consequences of MAC’s proposal are serious and contradict the original intention of city planners.

     The existing zoning is intended for local businesses that would serve the neighbourhood, including – among the many other services – a rather small religious center.

     MAC’s plan is to turn this into a religious center serving people coming mostly from outside the neighbourhood

    The implications of MAC’s plan are:

     Block the potential for any future development of the mall with services to local community
     Serious parking, traffic, noise ramification

  2. 2 lessardcommunity June 30, 2010 at 4:53 am

    I am especially concerned about traffic related issues during what some refer to as “blockbuster events” (i.e., special events). For example, in 2010, the Month of Ramadan takes place from August 12 to September 9. The end of it is celebrated by the Eid prayer. During this month the Lessard community should brace itself for a significant increase in traffic and parking issues.
    A couple of years ago the Edmonton Journal published an article called: “Muslims mark end of Ramadan with Eid prayer, celebration.” During this celebration thousands of people gathered at the West End for prayers:
    “Dozens of Muslims who couldn’t squeeze inside the Mayfield Inn Trade Centre laid mats and rugs on the black pavement and prayed in the parking lot, reciting from the Qur’an and bowing in unison, touching their foreheads to the ground.”
    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/cityplus/story.html?id=93ced0a7-06bf-439d-ba97-c2f8349f7f37
    The mosque in Lessard Mall is permitted to serve up to 200 worshippers. During Ramadan, and other religious festivities, how is MAC planning to handle the large number of worshippers who are likely to arrive from all over the city?

  3. 3 lessardcommunity July 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Testimony from residents who live close to the Islamic Academy at the North:
    The following brings forth our experiences of living in close proximity to the Islamic Academy in the northern part of Edmonton, near 127th St.

    During cultural events that take place at the facility, the adjacent streets are usually overflowing with parked vehicles of those attending the event.

    During large celebrations loud music had been played over the loud speakers, being heard throughout the neighbourhood. In a recent event that took place on a Sunday, the music started playing loudly at 8am and continued throughout the entire day, heard all over the area.

    No notices were ever sent to the neighbourhood residents regarding these events to inform us of the loud music or the parking overflow.

  4. 4 lessardcommunity July 4, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    On the CBC News Blogger
    LarryMorningstar wrote:Posted 2010/04/27
    at 1:54 PM ET

    Testimony from residents who live close to the Mosque in Millwoods:

    I live close to the Grace Martin and St. Elizabeth Elementary schools in Millwoods and I can tell you that whenever there is a service being done at the mosque across the street corner nearby, the neighborhood traffic becomes a circus. Sometimes, you have people parking right at the corner (i.e. along the curve of the corner), mosque attenders not yielding to pedestrians, parking in the residential area and leaving garbage behind, and causing a traffic jam when everybody leaves the mosque at the same time.

    I am not generalizing that all religious organizations does this, but I know the members of this mosque do. My neighbors and I find that depending on the time of the year (when their prayer time is different) – sometimes traffic moves smoothly (when it is not busy for everybody else) and sometimes it’s a gong show (i.e. when everybody needs to get out of the area, whether you are coming out from the mosque or the schools nearby). One time, the parking got so bad (you have people parking at the corners, at the bus stops, and right at the crosswalk), a bylaw officer had to give them tickets.

    This problem can easily be translated to the Lessard Mall – it’s not the drop off that’s the problem – it’s the picking up of the kids. If there is to be a re-zoning, there should be some provisions made on where the parents can park when they are picking up their children from the school.

  5. 5 lessardcommunity July 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Taken from: connect2edmonton blog
    Edmcowboy11

    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=16897&page=3
    ——————————————————————————–

    Comment about Traffic next to a Mosque:

    “I think the only question I personally would be asking is how is traffic around this area right now? The issue of a mosque isn’t a problem for me, the only issue is traffic. There is a mosque that is one block away from where I live and unfortunately everytime there is services parking in the whole neighborhood get’s filled up. Honestly I get very annoyed because it gets extremly hard to move about in my own neighborhood. I don’t like it, but it’s not because its a mosque, I’d be equally annoyed if it were a catholic church or any other type of religious facility.”
    _______________________________________________________


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