Saskatchewan

Old Mosaic Stadium site should be a parking lot for now: city councillor

A Regina city councillor is pushing for Taylor Field to be turned into a parking lot. 

Old Mosaic Stadium demolished in 2017

Coun. Jerry Flegel says construction on a housing development on the land won't start for at least five years. In the meantime, he says it could serve as parking for events at both Mosaic Stadium and Evraz Place. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

A Regina city councillor is pushing for Taylor Field to be turned into a parking lot. 

The former home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders was demolished in 2017. 

The city plans to use the land for housing. 

But Coun. Jerry Flegel said construction won't start for at least five years. 

In the meantime, it could serve as parking for events at both Mosaic Stadium and Evraz Place, he said.

"We have Riders, we have Grey Cup, we have farm shows, we have Agribition, we have Exhibition next week," said Flegel. "It'll allow people to drive to the games or to the different things that are going on here. And people have said, you know the buses are great but I still want to drive because after the game I want to go somewhere else so this would give a lot of extra parking."

Flegel said the city could charge $5-$10 for parking to make up any costs for leveling out the land in the future. He said the plot could probably hold about 1,000 parking stalls. 

The grandstand of the old Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field was torn down in 2017. (CBC)

Flegel said it could even be used for parking at the Pasqua Hospital. 

Administration will look into the costs and an approximate timeline for the project and present findings in one month.

New strategy for underutilized land

The old Mosaic Stadium will be brought up at city hall Monday night along with the Underutilized Land Improvement Strategy, developed by administration.

In December 2018, City Council endorsed the study. Its goal is to identify potential reasons for why developers might not want to invest in underutilized sites.

The Official Community Play Bylaw, created in 2013, calls for growth and development within existing areas of the city. The goal is to direct at least 30 per cent of new residents to existing urban areas. The city determined that existing underutilized lands would have to be redeveloped for that to work. That includes vacant lots, surface parking lots and vacant buildings.

Flegel said he thinks developers are apprehensive to invest in underutilized land because of underlying costs and unknowns, such as the need to pay for environmental cleanups. He said it's common on former gas station sites.

"Wherever it's a housing issue or we have a potential to put housing in there you have to clean up the land first and environmentally it has to be safe before you can start digging again," Flegel said.