Ross Street business operators who want to hang on to as many green spaces as possible on their street oppose the removal of a wedge of greenery on the 4900 block.
The City of Red Deer will eliminate the six-metre triangular space to assist in the construction of nearby Veterans Plaza where the cenotaph is located.
Getting rid of the space is necessary for drainage for Veterans Plaza and to make it easier to plow snow.
The space, in front of Sunworks and La Petite Jaune Fleur, will be replaced with three parking spaces.
La Petite Jaune Fleur owner Laura Cadrin, said she would really prefer the green space.
“What we wanted to do is clean it up and put it in a bench and make it user-friendly, kind of like a mini park,” Cadrin said.
“Everyone is always in such a big hurry. There really isn’t a lot of spaces to just sit down and enjoy the view.”
Charity Dyke, downtown co-ordinator with the city, said the benefits of Veterans Plaza are huge for the downtown.
“There’s absolutely no doubt that the whole area will be enhanced by the development of that plaza area, which includes seating and landscaping,” Dyke said.
The plan for Veterans Plaza was presented at a well-attended public open house in March. No objections were voiced about the removal of the space, she said.
City council approved the plan in April. Construction to remove the small green space is expected to begin this month, with the hope of completing the $1.3 million Veterans Plaza in November.
Paul Harris, community facilitator and Sunworks co-owner, said at the open house it was not clear what was to be lost. But he did object to the removal of the green space.
“There were no write-ups, just images so people were focusing on Veterans square. They weren’t thinking about the rest of the street,” Harris said.
People in the downtown are both disappointed the space will be lost, but also look forward to Veterans Plaza, he said.
“We’ve been in favour of it for years. I think Ross Street is finally arriving.”