Withdraw Bannockburn's Severance Application and Save our Playing Fields!

  • by: Alyssa Berenstein
  • recipient: Jennifer Arp, Trustee for Ward 8 and fellow TDSB trustees

Please sign this petition if you agree that TDSB Trustee, Jennifer Arp, must use her influence to withdraw TDSB's application for severance of Bannockburn's 2.19 acres of green space from the Ontario Municipal Board and to remove this precious green space from TLC's circulation once and for all.

The community has been galvanized by this issue, uniting to preserve the playing fields that are the heart of Bannockburn’s Green Space. Hundreds of children use them every year to play organized sports and to just be children and play. There are no other parks and playing fields of this size in the neighborhood, a fact recognized by the City of Toronto planning department and adopted by the City in its study of potential densification of the Avenue Road corridor between Wilson and Lawrence Avenues. Once this greenspace is gone, it cannot be replaced.

The green space could be sold to develop 18 new single-family homes. This neighborhood does not need more houses. With the continued densification on Avenue Road and Wilson Avenue, there will be a continuing – if not greater – need for green space. Sacrificing the future well-being of thousands of children for the sake of 18 homes is the very definition of short-sighted.

Beyond the merits of preserving the green space as playing fields, I am signing this petition because I have serious concerns about the process the TDSB has followed to date. The Board adopted a very clear policy in December 2012 requiring community consultation when dealing with prospective properties to sever and sell. Members of the community were not consulted before the decision was made in June 2013 to sever and sell the playing fields. Instead, they were informed by former Trustee Goodman in late September 2013, well after the decision was made, and told that there were no alternatives. The community has sought records that the December 2012 policy required the Director of Education to prepare. None has been provided, which leads people to conclude that no part of the policy was followed. To allow the green space to be sold when the rules set by the Board were ignored by the Board simply is not fair. Such inappropriate conduct should not be sanctioned.

Ms. Arp, you took a firm stance as a trustee candidate to do what you could to preserve Bannockburn’s Green Space. The solution to this issue is in your hands and those of your fellow trustees. Please withdraw the green space from circulation and retain the property intact for the open use of all community members for generations to come.

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