Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Camred Architecture Inc. Selected as Project Partner

After reaching out to several architecture firms and receiving quotes from 4 companies TCS Mosque Project Development and Construction Committee (Ahmet Topal, Suat Demirer, and Sedat Çıplak) selected Camred Architecture Inc., as the design company for our project.

Camred agreed to work with our volunteer designer Suat Demirer as a project consultant. Mr. Demirer continued to do all the CAD drawings of the project as a volunteer.

With the addition of Camred to the project team, project started moving faster towards formal Development Permit application.

Monday, December 18, 2017

TCS Received Written Confirmation from AGLC About the TCS Mosque Addition

At a special membership meeting held on December 10, shortly after the pre-application meeting we attended at the City of Edmonton, a few of our members who had also raised objections to the Mosque Project in the November 2016 meeting raised the issue that AGLC might not approve the building of a mosque at the current TCS property.

Our Externatal Relations Coordinator Sim Senol submitted a formal message to the AGLC to get their approval, explaining to them that TCS has no intention to use any gaming funds during the construction of the mosque project. Today, we received confirmation from the AGLC that no prior approval is required for such a building project, provided that we do not use any gaming funds. This is yet another hurdle that was presented to the TCS Board by a few dissenting voices among the Turkish Canadian community. We were able to clarify the regulations and put everyone's minds at ease within the Turkish community. Despite past failed efforts, we are hopeful that a mosque can be built in this location. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Successful Pre-Application Meeting on second try!

Our volunteer designer and Board Director Suat Demirer returned from a visit to his ailing mother in Turkey with new ideas to make the mosque plans work. After many hours of hard work, preparing new drawings, TCS Board Members Sinem Senol and Suat Demirer met with the City of Edmonton planners for a second time on November 22, 2017 to get feedback on our development plans. With most, if not all, the major issues identified in the February 2017 pre-application meeting addressed, the City of Edmonton gave TCS the green light to finalize and submit our Development Permit application.

The planning officers confirm that we will need to hire a licensed architect to move forward with the project.

This was a possibility previously presented to and approved by the TCS members at a general meeting, so TCS President Ahmet Topal instructed our volunteer designer Suat Demirer and Treasurer Sinem Senol to search and get quotes from local architects to join the design team.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

TCS President Ahmet Topal and Treasurer Sinem Senol look for alternate solutions for the Mosque Project

After disappointing news from the City Developers regarding our initial development plans, TCS President Ahmet Topal and Treasurer Sinem Senol spent Spring 2017 reaching out the EPSB, the Catholic School Board, and the Francophone School Board to discuss the possibility of purchasing additional land towards the West of our existing property. With future plans to close the Brightview Elementary School behind our property this initially looked promising. However, further meetings with the City parks planning manager, revealed to us that CoE would like to maintain the integrity of the large green space on the west side of our property.

In April 2017 some new members joined the TCS Board to bring some fresh momentum to our project. Our President Ahmet Topal, Treasurer Sinem Senol, and Board Member Mustafa Kamil Demir were elected for another two year term. They were also joined by new Board members Suat Demirer, Onur Mutlu, and Yasemin Akgul Uluc. Newly elected Board Members re-affirm the TCS's Board's commitment to the project.

During the summer we reached out to real estate agents to discuss whether it might be possible to sell the existing property and purchase land elsewhere. President Ahmet Topal and Treasurer Sinem Senol met with bank officials to discuss the possibility of obtaining a loan to purchase new property and presented all their findings to the Board for discussion, before presenting the ideas to the general membership. The realtors we spoke with strongly discouraged us from selling our existing property, citing future development plans of the City of Edmonton on the West side. In the end, the Board decided it was best to give up the quest for searching an alternate location.

Summer 2017 unfortunately brought some controversy to the TCS Board as well. Disappointed by the bleak prospect for building the Mosque in our existing location, construction committee started with a plan to build a storage/kitchen/funeral space adjacent to the Gym. Mr. Suat Demirer, our newly elected Board Member raised concerns about this construction plan, and it was put on hold. For now our Phase II plans are on hold until Edmonton Public School Board goes forward with its school consolidation plans and shuts down the Brightview School. Our Project Consultant and Board Member Suat Demirer will continue to look for solutions for the Phase I - TCS Mosque project.

Friday, February 24, 2017

TCS Mosque Faces Setback after Development Permit Pre-application Meeting

On February 22, 2017 Turkish Canadian Society Board Members Suat Demirer, Sinem Senol, Zafer Koprulu, and Mustafa Kamil Demir met with City of Edmonton planning officer Samantha Buccino and several other City of Edmonton officials at a Development Permit Pre-Application Meeting to discuss our planned Mosque Project.

Although the City officials were generally supportive of the idea of building a mosque at our existing site, there were several issues raised during the meeting. We were told that we would need to purchase significant amount of land from EPSB to get the project approved as designed.

TCS Board and our volunteer designer goes back to the drawing board, to re-think and re-design the project. We will especially have to put our Phase II - Cultural Centre plans on hold, as the parking and landscaping requirements will be impossible to meet.