Longtime residents in Cold Lake North have approached city council in opposition to a proposed walking path the city plans to build between 7th and 8th street.
The path would be part of a network of walking paths connecting the South and North.
“We purchased our home 23 years ago, leaving the M.D. and the issues of uncertainty there to move our family to a safe, family-friendly neighbourhood,” said Lynn Penner, one of the residents that presented to council.
“The 10 feet adjacent to our property was designated for utilities at the time, not public access, and we wouldn’t have bought the lot had we known it was for that purpose.
“We’re sad that it might be a reason to sell now.”
Lynn and her husband Randy have offered to buy the adjacent 10 feet of property as a way to prevent the walkway from being constructed, seeing it as a potential source of stress for the family.
“I would never in a million years have bought a property where a walking path could be within five feet of my bedroom window,” said Randy Penner.
“St. Dominic’s school has existed for over 60 years, and a walkway has not been needed. Many if not most of the children there are driven by their parents or bussed–very few ever walk or bike to school.”
The Penners and another couple, the Deeps, raised concerns ranging from snow removal to ATVs traveling down the path, and that it could potentially be unsafe for children, with worries that the walkway would become “a dark alley” that would allow for shady individuals to take refuge.
“The walkway is meant to help get students at St. Dominic’s to school faster, as well as help residents move around easier,” said Mayor Craig Copeland on The Morning After.
“However, these residents have raised very good points to council.”
City council will discuss these concerns at their next meeting on October 6.