Residents in Ayr fight plans to put supermarket in residential area
Published Sunday, September 9, 2012 5:03PM EDT
Residents of Ayr are speaking out against the rezoning of property on Northumberland Road.
The plan is to build a 24-hour supermarket in the middle of a residential area, but those who live around the proposed development do not agree with the prospect of a 'commercial neighbour.'
Residents have formed a 'save our community' group to protest the proposal. They say it's not the introduction of new business in Ayr that they're opposed to, it's the location.
Ayr residents Martha Orloci and James Dol say “If we allow commercial development here, then it erodes the nature of the residential area and we don't want this area to turn into a commercial strip. “
“This will become another Hespeler road but in a small community,” says Dol.
Many have taken to putting up signs and posters, hoping to persuade the North Dumfries town council to stop residential rezoning.
North Dumfries Ward 1 Councillor Susan Foxton says, “We do need commercial development. We want to grow; we want to expand but a growth in the correct way.”
There are around 4,000 residents in Ayr and more than 1,000 of them have signed the petition against the rezoning of the property
Jake Lawless lives next door to the lot he says this development would ruin his quality of life. “A supermarket going in will bring the whole town into my backyard.”
Lawless is a quadriplegic, who says he has spent a lot of money making his home accessible, $30,000 on an elevator $15,000 for the deck and fencing.
“We’ve invested our whole lives into this house and we wanted to stay here but I can't live beside a 24-hour supermarket,” says Lawless.
Although residents agree an around-the-clock supermarket would be convenient, they say the preservation of their neighbourhood and safety are more important.
“The concern is right across the street is St. Bridget’s school and we have a blind curve just down the road about 200 metres,” says Dol.
Residents are planning a rally Monday night outside of the North Dumfries community complex, where the first public meeting on this issue will be held at 7 p.m.
The developer is expected to put forward a proposal for rezoning.
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