Clarifying some facts on lot sale

A new look and some clarification for the Glenmerry lot sale controversy.

We are writing this letter in regard to the Glenmerry lot sale controversy. Our daughter, Dionne and son in law, Jake Deadmarsh are the young couple that approached the city (in writing) expressing an interest in purchasing the residential lot in question.  Their intent was to build a new home, in which to live and raise their family.  What started out to possibly be a pleasant experience has turned out to be anything but pleasant!

Of course, every controversy has two sides; as parents we feel obligated to speak out in support of our kids.  We have waited until the process has been completed and now feel it is the right time to express our opinion on this matter.

To suggest that our kids would ask the City of Trail to close a park, have it rezoned and sell it to them for less than market value so they could build a house, is ridiculous and completely false!  Yet, this is what the Committee for Green Space and Justice would have you believe.

For this reason we felt compelled to respond.

Mrs. Crossman, the spokeswomen for this group, lives directly across the street from the lot and initiated the petition preventing the sale.

We believe petitions are an important and fair tool for people to express their point of view; however, the information provided to the public, in order to garner signatures, should be honest.

In this case, the flyers that were delivered to homes, our daughter’s home included, and posted next to the petition in several businesses, stated that the City of Trail intended to rezone and sell the “park” to “select individuals” in a “quiet process.”  They then named Jake and Dionne Deadmarsh as the individuals.  The implication being that they were given preferential treatment by the city.

Nothing is further from the truth!

As stated, Jake and Dionne inquired, in writing, about the possibility of purchasing this lot to build a home.  Initially the city told them it would likely be a sealed bid process, which was fine with them.  As the city was not actively trying to sell this lot, and no one else had approached them in writing, the city’s attorney advised to proceed with the Deadmarsh family provided certain conditions were met.

In response to a rumour that someone may have previously expressed an interest in purchasing this property, the city did extensive research to determine if there was any validity to it.  They were unable to find any documentation or reference substantiating this.

Attached to the sale were the following conditions, which the Deadmarsh’s agreed to: Pay for all Geo Tech costs. Pay for an independent appraisal and to pay the appraised value of the lot. Pay for all costs to service the lot. Take responsibility for having the top layer of soil scraped and removed. Agree to the stipulation they could NOT subdivide or resell. Agree to the stipulation that the home must be set back according to the Geo Tech report. Agree to the stipulation they must build within two years or the lot would revert back to the city

With these stipulations and the associated costs the lot would actually cost the Deadmarshs closer to $150,000 not the $109,000 to $115,000 as stated.  This is comparable to any other serviced lot in the City of Trail.

For years people have driven by this residential lot, never noticed it, except to see a City employee cutting the grass or perhaps a neighbour wheeling yard waste over the bank.  So, our question is this:  Why, if this sacred lot is so coveted by so many residents of Trail and area, has no one ever utilized it?  The group’s mandate appeared to be inconsistent.  What started out as “Save Our Park” soon turned into questions about the process and accusations that the city was some how trying to benefit a select family.

Within this confusion, there was also the emotional appeal, stating that if this sale was allowed a precedent would be set and that your neighbourhood park could be next.

The Committee for Green Space and Justice now has enough signatures and the city has decided not to take this to a referendum.

Our kids will move on and find another property; however, we feel that things could have been handled differently so that a young family was not left feeling as though they had done something dishonest.

In her comments in the April 3rd edition of the Trail Times Mrs. Crossman stated, “This is not a petition against a family…” yet, no one from the committee ever contacted Jake and Dionne to tell them that.

To them it felt personal.

Finally, thank you to those merchants who refused to take sides in a public dispute by not allowing the petition and misleading flyer in their place of business. In our opinion this seemed to be a dispute disguised as a cause.

Mario and Vickie Iachetta

Fruitvale