BY KEITH LACEY
Problems with parking have surfaced once again in Greater Sudbury but this time far away from the downtown core.
Because of site preparation for possible future expansion of the Southridge Mall, MacIsaac Industries has brought in equipment and personnel. This has resulted in a substantial decrease in the number of parking spots available for members of the Lockerby Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion on Long Lake Road.
MacIsaac Industries owns a 66-foot right-of-way it intends to use to build an entrance to property it has owned for decades near the Lockerby Legion parking lot.
The end result is the number of parking spots has been greatly reduced as has been easy access to the legion branch, says branch president Richard Brunelle.
Brunelle would like to set up a meeting with MacIsaac Industries president Pat MacIsaac and city officials to try to ensure the branch will have sufficient parking once the construction project is completed.
?We think we can work out a deal, but our real concern is that if the city expropriates more land in the future, we?re going to be in a real jackpot when it comes to parking,? he said.
When there are big functions at the branch, as many as 300 people will attend and there isn?t nearly enough parking to accommodate all the vehicles, said Brunelle.
MacIsaac and his family have been very generous to the branch and its members over the years, but branch members are asking about assurances to
ensure there will be sufficient parking once construction and mall expansion is completed, said Brunelle.
?All I want is a personal meeting to ensure we won?t be left with little or no parking,? he said.
?This branch has been a big part of this community for a long time and most of our members are elderly. We need good parking fairly close to the building or I?m afraid we might be in big trouble trying to survive.?
MacIsaac said his company has tried to work with the legion for several years to help them with any concerns they have. He?s open to meeting with them about the parking issue.
Site preparation work is being done, but the full extent of Southridge expansion hasn?t been finalized, said MacIsaac.
No matter how big final expansion is, his company will try and work with the legion executive to ensure satisfactory parking spots are made available, he said.
?I do understand the position the legion is in, but we?ve allowed them access to our property for over 25 years and have gone above and beyond to address their concerns,? said MacIsaac. ?We?ve made lots of different proposals and options we felt were responsive to their needs and they weren?t always prepared to go along with them.?
His company has been given approval to do site preparation and has every intention of expanding the Southridge Mall, but that doesn?t mean the concerns over parking at Lockerby Legion won?t be addressed, said MacIsaac.
?We have no intention of hurting the legion in any way, shape or form,? he said. ?But we do plan on developing this property.?
MacIsaac is confident a more detailed plan to ensure all concerns are addressed can be put together once the full scope of mall expansion is completed.