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RCAF 200 Wing’s plan to expand parking faces opposition

Mike Charbonneau, president of the 200 Wing in Summerside, spoke to city councillors recently about expanding the organizations parking lot.
Mike Charbonneau, president of the 200 Wing in Summerside, spoke to city councillors recently about expanding the organizations parking lot. - Millicent McKay

The Wing has about 470 members, more parking is crucial: Charbonneau

SUMMERSIDE – Plans to expand the parking lot of Summerside’s 200 Wing was met with opposition during a public special city council meeting in Summerside.

Mike Charbonneau, president of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association 200 Wing, spoke to council saying a larger parking lot was vital, especially during holiday seasons and community gatherings.

“The Wing is a non-profit organization. We have about 470 members and it’s still going strong. Because of that we need parking.”

For the last number of years the organization has been looking to expand its parking, and considered a couple of neighbouring properties.

“We also looked at 320 Court Street but there was about a five-foot area that connected to our lot. It wasn’t big enough to get any cars or traffic through, so we passed on that.”

But 316 Court Street is an L-shaped lot, which runs along the already existing parking lot. There is a house currently located on the property, now owned by the Wing, and whether council approves or denies the application, it will be torn down, said Charbonneau.

“The lot would be used as last resort parking, used for overflow… We plan to put fencing up around the lot, so nobody drives across someone else’s property. Also thinking about putting in a speed bump at the Court Street end, so people don’t launch themselves. Also plan to put in security lighting and cameras for safety purposes.”
They hope to have enough space for 30 to 35 vehicles.

Tim Cameron, who owns 320 Court Street, voiced opposition saying that the parking lot would block his property in.

“The Wing had an opportunity to buy the property, but it just sat there. I’m a developer in this town; I try to fix up properties. I’ve got thousands of dollars into this property, and all of a sudden I get this letter that says they are going to box me in. I’ll have pavement on every side of me. They’ll be driving around my house. There’ll be children in there. I just don’t think it’s safe.”

Phillip Cameron, Tim’s brother, also stepped forward to oppose the application, saying that his brother was willing to sell the property before and may still be willing.

“The opportunity is there to expand a nice parking lot for the Wing, not just go around and change zoning and then revert back later. Just do it right and get the whole parking lot.”

To that Charbonneau stepped forward saying the Wing could not afford Cameron’s asking price.

“For us to buy it and then knock it down, is prohibitive… It isn’t feasible on that property.”

Tim Cameron stepped back to the microphone to say they were asking for $120,000.

“I have $80,000 into that house and I can show you the receipts. I think it’s a fair price for them to buy me out.”

No decision was made to approve the re-zoning amendment, but it was referred back to the Technical Services Committee for review and recommendation.

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