Hello North Grenville residents and Director of Development Philip Gerrard:
There is no question that Habitat for Humanity is an amazing and deserving organization, and it’s great news that another build is being planned for a family in North Grenville. But back off of the municipality-owned Kemptville College campus, please.
To learn that the Director of Development for the municipality has identified the campus property as an appropriate site for a housing development – no matter what type, or which charity/organization/developer – has tripped alarm bells set at a volume of eleven.
The campus is its own distinct landscape – part of a history of agriculture and education. It will take work to realize a vision for the entire property. But if pieces are chipped away, it loses value.
As real estate developers circle and drool, it’s time to get serious about protecting this magnificent piece of land and see this proposed development for what it is – a door being cracked open for others to eventually enter. Isn’t there another piece of property that qualifies for the Habitat for Humanity build?
If the municipality changes the zoning of this parcel of land in order to “do good” for Habitat for Humanity, sorry, but it doesn’t do good for the integrity of the campus property. And an asset depreciates. At the very least, it sets a precedent for another future zoning change. The campus broken into a patchwork quilt becomes less appealing to investors.
Consider this: the century-old brick buildings, the distance between the buildings, the trees, the expanse of green, the time it takes to walk from one building to another between classes… these elements contribute to its historic value, and its current valuation.
It’s time for the public to learn and understand more about how the municipality makes these decisions, and what it values about this unique property.