Southwood Lakes Residents Sign Petition to Maintain Decorative Street Lighting

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Residents in Southwood Lakes are banding together to protect the aesthetics of their neighbourhood.

Ward 1 Councillor Fred Francis presented a petition to city council Monday from residents who want to see decorative light posts remain in the subdivision.

More than 500 of the light posts were installed in the neighbourhood bordered by North Talbot Road and Howard Avenue in the early 1990's.

Francis says more than half are now in need of immediate replacement.

According to a standing committee report, new decorative light posts cost between $6,500 and $8,000 — far more than the nearly $4,000 the city pays for a standard concrete post.

Several committee members found the cost hard to swallow, but Francis says changing the look of the neighbourhood isn't fair.

"The people of Southwood Lakes are not asking for anything new. They're not asking for anything enhanced," he says. "They're just asking for the current look of their neighbourhood to be maintained as they have been since the inception of the neighbourhood."

He says the city allowed them to be installed knowing it would be responsible for replacing them.

"If the city didn't want to do that 30-years ago, then they should never have allowed the developer to install decorative lights at the onset," he says. 

Francis says residents in the subdivision account for millions of dollars in tax revenue used to fund projects throughout the city.

He says it's only fair to use that tax money to maintain the neighbourhood's identity.

"No different than what you see in Walkerville, in Sandwich, in areas of downtown Windsor or in Riverside," he says. "There are certain elements that are distinct within those neighbourhoods and I think we should protect those aspects."

The recommendations for a citywide policy will be presented to council in the coming months.

Francis says the petition has gathered close to 600 signatures, more than half of the subdivisions 1,000 residents.

- with files from AM800's Rob Hindi