Welcome to the Bright Lights of the Little City

All the good folks (and their houses and land) in our little corner of the world were recently annexed by the nearest city. It took some time for the annexation to work it’s way through all the powers that be, but we all knew that  it would happen, regardless of our desire not to be ‘city folk’. The Provincial Government made it official effective the first of this year, and were kind enough to inform us of the fact at the end of March. By the end of April we still had not heard a peep from our City officials, so I sent the Mayor an email. “We don’t seem to have received a “Welcome to the Neighbourhood” note from you,” I observed.

A week or so later, the Leader of Planning and Development responded, “I believe we met at an open house some time ago regarding the annexation. You should be receiving a welcome letter from the City soon.”

Yes, Team Leader, you likely remember me. I was the lady who was waving around the photos of what the houses a mile and a half away from me look like, now that the city has allowed the developers to build warehouses just beyond their back door.

Team Leader’s note continued: “In regards to the warehouse development you refer to … administration is working with the developer and their tenants to try to prevent or mitigate impacts as much as possible.”

Actually, that doesn’t really bring me much comfort. Construction garbage decorating my trees maybe, but no comfort.

A new warehouse where there was a field of canola a few years ago, but no comfort..

A Welcome Letter from the city arrived in early May. After a short paragraph of introduction, the letter got to the meat of the matter:  Property taxes would be due soon; we should not expect water, sewer or garbage service in the foreseeable future; business owners need to get a business license; and we need to fill in the city census form because it brings in an additional $261 per head in Government funding.

Yes, Little City, you sure know how to put out the Welcome Mat!

I have to keep reminding myself that I live in a great province, even if the neighbours sometimes suck: Alberta – Remember to Breathe

Post 343

17 comments

  1. I was sorry to hear about your annexation. The warehouses are really unfortunate as you are in such a pretty area. We are in the process of going through something similar at our cottage. We won’t get hit right away because we are in a provincial park but it is just a matter of time before the government turns us over to the city. We, too, shouldn’t expect street lights, garbage pick up, sewer pump outs etc. We should expect to pay taxes over and above what we pay now to lease our property. Because we are “summer” people we don’t get hit with the school tax that our full time neighbours pay. The sad part is that the school tax doesn’t go to the city – it goes to the provincial government and is swallowed up in a deep dark hole. Apparently, there are several other cottage areas in the province that are watching to see what happens here. We get to be the test case!

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  2. Hi,
    They are definitely an ugly sight those warehouses, and so close to that house as well, I bet those people aren’t very happy. The powers that be could at least put some trees along the border between the warehouses and the house so the impact isn’t so great. Very sad to see this happening in such a lovely area.

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    • There is a berm that is supposed to help minimize the impact of the buildings. It is that black line of dirt that rises about 1/4 the height of the building. Even if there are trees on the berm, it will still be many years before they are large enough to be of any use. The building also has flood lights that are bright enough that the owners of those houses say they could almost read the newspaper while sitting in their back yard at night.

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  3. Hi Margie,

    This is a frustrating thing, isn’t it? When I was growing up my grandparents lived at the edge of the redwood forest. Today those trees are gone, replaced with a set of warehouses and “graced” with very bright lights all night long. Isn’t it a pity that there are those with power who seem to have a knack for building ugliness where once there was beauty?

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    • Yes, it seemed weird, but the city decided not to look what was just beyond it’s borders. The warehouses were in the city, the houses were in the county and the county did nothing to stop what the city was planning to do.

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