Do you like the idea of a condominium going up in a public park? Because that’s what Nelson city council is planning to do at Cottonwood Park. Cottonwood Park is “a beautiful hidden treasure,” according to the city’s website. It won’t be for long if it’s the backyard for the people who live in new condos (they are called live-work spaces, but really they are condos with stores underneath).
Reviewing Railtown plans, I have no problem with new housing going up in some places in Railtown, but save Cottonwood Park. Use it, for example, for community garden space for other condo dwellers in Railtown, or a community amphitheatre.
The keyword here is “community” and the sense of it will be lost if condos are allowed in a public park. Wouldn’t it be creepy, picture it: you are meditating at the falls and you look up. A guy from Alberta is looking through binoculars at you from his patio! It would no longer be a public park.
Plus the samba band has tried many places to practice and this is the only one that has worked so far; that wouldn’t be the case with condo dwellers right there.
If the city is concerned with its use by transients and want eyes on the park, there will be plenty of new pedestrian traffic going through from the other condos in Railtown.
Or how about hiring a caretaker of the park and giving them the red house that’s already there as a place to stay? Maybe those that hang out there with addictions just need some compassion, someone to buy them a coffee and to ask them to tell their life story. Or what about having a greenhouse that people with addictions can tend? Maybe some of the people the city wants to get rid of just need purpose, a sense they are not just the trash people treat them like.
I have a petition circulating around town until Friday about saving Cottonwood from condos. It’s at the Blue Mule Expresso Bar, PNW Garden Supply, and Kootenay Woodstoves. The online version is at bit.ly/CottonwoodPetition. Please stop in one of those locales and sign it so we can show council this will not fly.
June Hamley, Nelson