Women stage protest outside town hall to preserve Glenview Park

Two Princeton women spent several days, over the past two weeks, protesting a move by the municipality to convert Glenview Park into an eight-lot subdivision.

Sharron Basanti and Kathy Simpkins are the organizers of Supporters of Princeton Parks.

That’s a group formed last month, to oppose developing the one-acre green space, in the mine subdivision.

The proposal for the space is to divide the park into up to eight lots.

The municipality would then service the lots with water and sewer, build a cul-de-sac street with curbs, and sell the lots to a developer.

One of the lots would be dedicated to a park.

Town promises to include park, if Glenview subdivision moves forward

Simpkins told The Spotlight a promise to dedicate parkland is not enough.

She stressed the need for greenspace and areas to recreate.

“It’s entirely insufficient. I understand they are trying to find a middle ground, and find a concession.

“But honestly, it just won’t do.”

Under provincial law, any landowner securing development rights must donate either parkland, or funds, towards a park reserve.

To remove the park designation, the municipality implemented the Alternative Approval Process.

To block the project going forward, 10 per cent – or more than 228 of eligible voters – must sign and submit a response form stating their opposition.

Simpkins and Basanti had forms available for residents to complete, as they carried their signs in front of town hall, and the post office.

They said the response they received was gratifying, and supportive, and that many people they have spoken with have registered their votes.

“We are optimistic,” said Basanti.

The forms are available online, and at the town office.

The deadline for submission is July 13.

Mayor Spencer Coyne said that while it’s unusual for there to be protesters on the steps of municipal hall, he applauds free speech.

“I’m happy that people are voicing their opinions and pursuing their democratic rights. There is nothing wrong with what they are doing,” he said.

“It’s good to see citizens engaging their rights.”

Coyne, citing Princeton’s housing crisis, reiterated he has no desire to see the issue put to referendum.

“That’s me personally. I don’t know what the rest of council will want to do.”

Basanti said the pair will not hold public protests going forward.

“Kathy and I felt that awareness has been raised about the park, which was the initial goal. Now people must decide for themselves as that is democracy.”

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