Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good Move Premier...let's hope it happens here

Great to see people like the Premier of Nova Scotia stepping up and recognizing the importance of development in his Province. Bottom line here was the Developer was prepared to compromise with his proposed development within a reasonable level but the Heritage Don't Get Ahead Gang just wouldn't compromise or listen to any reason. Wouldn't it be nice if our Premier would step in and help Developers try and manage their way through our City Hall. Some Examples....MacArthur's Appliances tried to build a new apartment building on a properly zoned lot in Parkdale and when some local residents didn't "like the idea" Charlottetown City Hall butted in and wouldn't issue a permit. The Developer went to court and won an order to proceed as he "had a right to build" but by this time the market conditions and interest rate had passed him by and I would suggest he lost about three hundred thousand dollars of real cash through delays and over a Million dollars in opportunity because City Council stepped out of bounds on their authority.... Now right before our own eyes Council is trying to stop a Trailer Park Owner from developing "HIS" land because a few of "HIS" tenants are whining that they have no place to go and the simple truth it is "HIS" land not the City's and it is properly zoned for what he wants to do with it and that is a owners fundamental right to do whatever he wants to do with it.... a local developer was trying to develop a beautiful waterfront development that included residential units and a new yacht club and the City Team drove him away with their antics of trying to stop something before it got started as the City continued to try and enforce their "own made up rules" that suit what they perceive are issues as opposed to just working with the developer within the current rules..... THESE ARE EXAMPLES OF EVERYDAY INTERVENTION BY THE CITY THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE and this is when the our Premier should step in and strip away some of their authority so people can go forward abiding by the rules and develop some much needed jobs, investment, choice and tax base for our Community.
Premier may give spurned developer second chance
Staff Reporters, Chronicle Herald
Thu. Oct 23rd
Premier Rodney MacDonald is trying to overturn Halifax regional council's recent rejection of a development in the downtown. Mr. MacDonald said growth in the downtown area is important for both Halifax and Nova Scotia as a whole, so he's directed staff to find a way to make the Armour Group's proposed Waterside Centre happen. "It's our intention to do everything we can to see this development move forward," the premier said after a cabinet meeting this morning. Mr. MacDonald didn't talk about specific options, but said officials were looking at regulations and legislation. If legislation is necessary, Mr. MacDonald's minority government would need opposition support to get it passed in the legislature. MLAs start the fall session next week.Council voted 9-9 on the propsal Tuesday. The tie vote meant council rejected the project.The new council — which will be sworn in Nov. 4 — would not be permitted to vote on Waterside Centre. Under council procedure, "only members of council present for the entire public hearing are permitted to vote. "That's why several members of the current council — including Linda Mosher (Purcell's Cove-Armdale), who missed both nights of public input — were not eligible. The mayor was allowed to vote but left chambers before it was held. He told reporters afterward that he had a previously scheduled family commitment he could not break. The project would have unified six old buildings bordered by Upper Water, Duke and Hollis streets, retained their facades and put a six-storey office structure on top of them. Mr. MacDonald said he didn't like the fact a project that could generate millions went down in a tie vote, and one by a council that didn't include new members from last Saturday's municipal election." We have a situation where financial service companies and others (are) wanting to come to Halifax. We have growth opportunities, we have multi-million dollars of investment (wanting) to come here to Halifax, to come to Nova Scotia," Mr. MacDonald said."We're sending the wrong message to the business community, we're sending the wrong message if we want to see growth in our economy." Halifax city hall is not anti-development, says Mayor Peter Kelly. "There are six projects in the books and there's nothing holding them back — only the willingness of the developer to move forward," Mr. Kelly said. Each of the developments can "start today," he said, listing off projects like ECL's (Empire) 22-storey class-A office building at the north end of the Granville Mall and Centennial Properties’ five-storey hotel and 142-unit residential building at the foot of Salter Street. "We are more than open for business and I think that the amount of approvals that have been done in the downtown in the last few years certainly prove that we are," he said. "However, it's not carte blanche and (those decisions) are ones that we take very seriously in terms of our overall responsibility to the heritage component as well. "The mayor says he welcomes the premier's input and his willingness to speak." But I hope he's also open to bringing resources -- either monetary or land-based -- to the table that may be able to help find resolve with this particular situation."


Anonymous said...

The Nova Scotia developer in question is an original.

Mr. MacCrae had a vision for the historic properties and executed the plans without running afoul of regulations or interest groups. Moreover, he goes about his business in a mature, dignified manner.

In short 'he did the right thing' with the historic properties - working with the asset, not against it. He saw the BIG picture and seized it.

If PEI had a developer the calibre of Mr. MacCrae, it would be appropriate for the Premier to intervene.

Not before.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with anonymous. Developers on PEI have a sense of entitlement. Not even in the same class as Mr. MacCrae

Rob Lantz said...

Hi Tim,
Just a small correction on the Idle Wheels Trailer park issue. The property is not properly zoned for what the owner wants to do with it. However, the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (of which I understand you are not a fan) stepped in and ordered the City to rezone it. The residents have asked IRAC to reconsider the order.

Anonymous said...

If only PEI had a Mr. MacCrae... think of the potential for beautiful PEI and historic Charlottetown.

We can only hope (and pray) he buys a cottage here.