"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Thursday, 26 February 2009

In the wee small hours of the morning

It's one o'clock .in the morning. I came home from the Town Hall at eleven-thirty p.m. I had been there since 6 pm.The first hour was an educational session about ethics.The last four were spent dealing with a single application for an amendment to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw.

A development group called Kaitlin presented plans to build a spectacularly beautiful building on the corner of Yonge and Centre Street. With their money. On their property . It is six storeys high at Yonge Street and reduces to a storey and a half as it climbs the slope on Centre Street

It means millions of dollars of investment in our down town exactly opposite the supermarket which has been vacant for months. For thirty-five years the corner has been a total blight. Before then it was occupied by a shabby run-down shack not much better that the Petch House
known as the Yates property. I can't remember if it was demolished or simply fell down of its own accord.

We have gone through the process with this site before....four times. Last time the project got as far as approval in principle. After we had shaved and pared from the height and reduced the number of suites, the property went straight back onto the market and .... pouffe ...the plan disappeared.

To-night we again spent four hours listening and then debating a resolution moved by myself and seconded by Councillor Collins Mrakas to approve the project in principle. Such a motion authorises staff to work with the applicant, taking into consideration all comments of the public and councillors and strive to come to an agreement.

At ten-minutes -to-eleven Councillor Bob McRoberts read something about " love of the village core" and declared he wanted a storey removed from the building . Councillor Collins Mrakas withdrew her support for our motion and I up and left.

I am going to have another Scotch on the rocks now.


Robert The Bruce said...

Does this town want development or not? Does this town want a downtown that is vibrant?

I understand that keeping the integrity of the downtown core is a concept that some value. One only has to drive Yonge for a short distance to see that the integrity has long since left. That genie left the bottle a long time ago. We have vacant lots, empty large stores, dumpy row houses and a handful of retailers that are struggling to make a dollar. The farmer's market was supposed to help the downtown core, so we move it out of it. It appears that the only operations that have any sort of success in this area are those in the service sectors (banks, lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc.).

Honestly, what difference does the height of the building make? You have a company willing to spend money in the town, to develop a piece of land that is doing nothing. They are going to spend their money and the town will make money. I say give them a rubber stamp and get things moving.

Evelyn, you did not say, what is the use of this new building that was proposed? Residential, mixed?

I hope it was a good single malt.


Anonymous said...

That's nothing...I can remember when Councillor Phylis Morris was kicking up a stink about what an eyesore the new State Farm building would be at highway 404 and that this Town does not believe in a ten story building...residents would not stand for such a thing! Imagine where that type of thnking would, er, I mean is getting us? Nowhere.