2013 / 11 / 22

Public Hearing in Petrozavodsk: Conservationists in Minority

As reported by The Forest Portal of Karelia (http://forest-karelia.ru/?id=526), a public hearing on the development plan for a new residential district known as Drevlyanka-9 was held on 21 November at the Petrozavodsk administration building. At the start of the hearing, over 600 city residents had gathered in the assembly hall, amongst them both supporters and opponents of development on the forest land where the new residential district is proposed.

At the hearing, Evgenii Voskoboinikov, General Director of OAO Vek Construction Company, stated that the creation of the development plan for Drevlyanka-9 originated from “the idea to build a modern and attractive housing development.” The plans for the residential district propose the construction of over 2000 apartments in multi-story buildings. However, according to Voskoboinikov, the housing development will cover only 10% of the area, with a significant part being put aside for a school and kindergarten where the existing forest would be preserved. The general director promised that “we plan to cut down no more than 30% of the existing woodlands.”

However, these reassurances did not allay the concerns of many of the residents of the existing residential district of Drevlyanka. One of the public hearing participants, Sergei Popkov, commented that, “this really is a nice housing development plan, but only for those who will be living in Drevlyanka-9. The entire area that is planned for development is now a recreation area for those who live in Drevlyanka. It’s the best-planned recreational area in the Petrozavodsk municipal forest!”

After a heated discussion that lasted for over two hours, the hearing closed with an overwhelming majority of participants in support of the proposed project: 489 voted in favour of it, and only 48 voted against it.

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