New municipal reserve status aims to protect Central, Walleye parks

NIPAWIN — To preserve the park for future generations, Nipawin council made Central Park and Walleye Park municipal reserves.

Prior to re-designating, selling or exchanging any municipal reserve land, council must pass a bylaw. That bylaw must be given a first reading, and then advertised in newspapers for two consecutive weeks with a public hearing date. After the public hearing is completed the council can proceed with second and third reading.

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While it was owned by the town, up until now this process would not have been needed to re-designate, sell or exchange park land.

“It means this land is now essentially protected and ensured that the land would be remaining available for general recreational uses for the town. It was designated as such, and will ensure it’s still there,” said Barry Elliott, Nipawin’s administrator.

“If at some point there was an effort to use part of the park or acquire part of the park for purposes, there is a process that needs to go through before that can be done.”

This designation was approved by council on June 24.

Such things as renovations would not be impacted by the municipal reserve status. Other permitted uses under reserves include school purposes, public buildings or facilities, agriculture uses and natural spaces. Public parks fall under permitted use.

Elliott said the decision was made, in part, to fill the amount of municipal land that is required to be designated as a reserve under the Planning and Development Act. Previously, the Town of Nipawin was under that required amount.

“We were a little bit behind, so Central Park was identified as a good location that has been long used for general municipal recreational purposes and that’s the type of use municipal reserves are generally set aside for. It was seen as a good opportunity to correct the imbalance and make sure of the property.”

Walleye Park was then added due to the similarity of recreational uses.

“This isn’t to say some different development couldn’t occur in the future, but it ensures the community itself has a voice in making any changes to those areas,” Elliott said.

He said this gives an opportunity for any future council to reflect before making changes to its use.

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