Monday, September 17, 2007

Lake Placid Investments Inc. proposal for River Landing Parcel "Y" appears to be at odds with DCD1 Guidelines

A report from city manager Phil Richards to Saskatoon City Council is recommending that Administration proceed to negotiate the necessary agreements with Lake Placid Investments Inc. for the development of River Landing Parcel “Y”.

An administrative committee comprised of city staff reviewed Lake Placid's proposal and scored it 88 out of a possible 100 points. The report states that the proposal “meets and exceeds City Council's priorities outlined in the RFP.”

Concerns remain however that the Lake Placid proposal does not appear to fulfill the requirement of a “destination attraction/gathering place” as defined in the earlier Expressions of Interest (EOI). There is also some question that part of the developer's proposal may not comply with the Direct Control District 1 (DCD1).

It should be noted that City Council apparently did not see the EOI submissions by Lake Placid Investments Inc. and WAM Group/Concorde Group prior to giving its approval that they proceed to the RFP stage. City administrators alone reviewed and evaluated the submissions.

Despite the serious nature of these and other concerns Mayor Don Atchison is already predicting that Council will dutifully approve the proposal.

In Council likely to OK river project (StarPhoenix, Sept. 15, 2007), Atchison said “I'm not a betting man, but I certainly believe with the score of 88 out of 100 it certainly will be moving forward.”

The following letter was submitted to City Council for consideration at its September 17, 2007, meeting:

September 16, 2007

Dear Mayor Atchison and Members of Council:

RE: River Landing Parcel "Y" - Lake Placid Investments Inc. Proposal Evaluation

With respect to Lake Placid Investments Inc. proposal for River Landing Parcel “Y” the DCD1 Guidelines do not appear to permit what the developer is proposing as its destination attraction/gathering place.

Section 5.0 of the River Landing Parcel “Y” Expressions of Interest (EOI) states:

“A destination attraction’s purpose is more clearly defined under “Permitted Uses” within the DCD1 guidelines: “to build on the Downtown’s role as the cultural heart of the city by the development of cultural facilities which can improve economic prospects and encourage tourism”. Suggested uses include, but are not limited to, publicly accessible interpretive centres, theatres, heritage facilities, museums, and art galleries.”

The definition used by city administration is drawn from the Culture & Tourism category of Table 1 – Uses and Facilities for the DCD1 Area.

The DCD1 clearly state:

“The only permitted uses in the DCD1 are those listed in the following table: Uses for the DCD1.”

According to the table the only permitted uses are: Interpretive Centres, Theatres, Heritage Facilities, Museums, Art Galleries , Amphitheatres, Display Space, Events Programming, Tour Offices, Box Office, Public Institutional Offices. These would be what the EOI meant by “cultural facilities.”

The public component of Lake Placid’s proposal consists of a “raised plaza” that includes a skating rink in the winter and a water pond/wading pool in the summer. A waterfall is also proposed. These do not appear to be listed in the DCD1 as permitted uses. Additionally, they are not “cultural facilities.”

The proposed uses do not appear to be allowed under the “Recreation” category of the DCD1 either where Equipment Rentals, Marinas, Pavilions, Cafes, Tour Boats, Street Vendors, Docks, and Sportsfields are listed as the only permitted uses.

Thank you for your time.


Joe Kuchta
Saskatoon , SK


Meewasin Valley Authority Board of Directors
Darren Hill, City Councillor Ward 1


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