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Land sale stopped by Central McDougall Community League

A land sale thwarted by the community league in Central McDougall has put attention on development pressures near the new LRT line to NAIT.
Amit Grover and Scott Rollans spoke to Edmonton AM host Mark Connolly 8:56

A land sale thwarted by the community league in Central McDougall has put attention on development pressures near the new LRT line to NAIT.

The land at 110th Avenue and 107th Street is close to the new Kingsway LRT station. (Erin Callihoo/CBC News )

Gwen Smith, a 93-year-old resident of the central Edmonton neighbourhood, recently tried to sell her home and the two adjoining properties. The land, all near the Kingsway LRT, would have become available for condo development. 

But the Central McDougall Community League went to court to get a covenant back in place that restricts development in the neighbourhood to single family homes.

The covenants were ignored in the 1960s, leading to a number of walk-up apartments being built. In the last 40 years, the community league has fought to prevent the agreements from being overturned and each time they were successful, said Scott Rollans, secretary for the community league

Rollans is sympathetic to Smith but says the neighbourhood character needs to be preserved.

He points to the transient nature of the neighbourhood between 107th and 104th Avenues, which has many four-storey walk-ups.

“There are very few single family dwellings left in the neighbourhood and those few houses, essentially, account for 95 per cent of the community league membership, a lot of the stability of neighbourhood depends on those remaining homes,” he said.

Real-estate company Colliers International is trying to sell the land. Amit Grover, vice-president of multi-family dwellings, says the development makes sense for properties so close to the LRT station.

“I just don’t see what can be done in the community if we don’t build condos or develop smartly... because I just don’t see someone tearing down a single family home to built a new one,” he said.

Smith, the woman at the centre of the property sale, declined to comment.

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