In the May 6 story, "Lester Park Golf Course plan stirs opposition" Keith Hamre, the city's director of planning and economic development, stated that potential reuse of municipal park golf course lands was discussed at length in meetings held across the community as the comprehensive plan was being developed. This statement appeared to be grossly misleading at best, as the casual reader would believe the city held numerous meetings asking for public input into a wide range of uses for the golf courses.
I have read the reports, and the city has not explored any other use for Lester golf course park land beyond golf or development. The city administration is proposing to sell 50 acres of Lester Park land and envisions up to 400 units of housing to be built at the site. There seems to have been no discussion about alternative uses for the golf course land and importantly no discussion concerning the environmental impact of such development at this site.
The proximity of this site to the Lake Superior shoreline and Lester River is extremely concerning. A United Nations report was released recently drawing alarming conclusions about human threats to biodiversity and the accelerating pace of mass extinctions across our planet. The non-monetized benefits to humans of a healthy ecosystem are great and worthy of inclusion in the discussion of urban development.
The North Shore of Lake Superior is a unique and highly sensitive ecosystem, home to diverse plant and animal life. Environmentally sustainable urban development is no longer tolerant of denuding green space on the far fringes of cities and constructing high-density housing on these sites, surrounded by impervious surfaces. An environmentally sustainable city embraces urban development at the city core and near infrastructure and urban amenities, not urban sprawl.
Please contact your city councilors and oppose this poor plan.