Dear Mayor Mussatto and Council:-
Many of you may be aware I live in The Grande building, volunteered as a board member for NSNH and sat on many committee’s for the city over the years. I am passionate about how our city plans its future although my work has not permitted me to get involved in meetings with respect to the proposal at 13th and Lonsdale, I have watched, listened and read all the controversy surrounding this project.
I was ready to jump in and give “kudo’s” to the council members who voted for another public hearing. In my opinion, (and I do have limited knowledge about city planning) that vote was a brave decision by those 4 councillors – AND the right way to go! This particular corner is one of the “highest” profile corners in the city and any development at that corner needs special care.
Although Omi tried to appease everyone involved – their latest proposal still needed work! The opponents were right – “additional tweaking” needed to be done because (bar none) traffic congestion in this area is a major concern. I can see both sides, Omi needed the density to pay for the project – but residents and taxpayers of the city needed this corner done properly.
In a perfect world, residents would sell, or get out of their cars and walk everywhere OR take transit …….. BUT that is dreaming!
Most people are never going to get rid of their cars OR be able to locate jobs close enough to walk to work or are able to ride bikes. As a result additional vehicle traffic in the area will just make tempers flare and more accidents happen. With just the project development on the south-east corner of Lonsdale AND the development nearing completion at 17th and Lonsdale …… in my humble estimation, equates to another 500+ cars in this area and on our city roads.
This is a small city – yes we may need the revenue – but at what cost? For all of us who have lived in this area for years as well as new comers and visitors alike – the inconvenience of further traffic congestion – IS NOT FAIR!
If asked, I believe many tax payers would rather pay a bit more in taxes than have a “huge 240’ high rise” on top of a office podium on 13th and Lonsdale. Parts of the Omi proposal were worthy of consideration ……. but the height and density was not. A beautiful treed park area– (extension of the Stella Jo Dean park) with exquisite fountains and more “socializing areas” surrounded by offices, art gallery, museum, public day care, walking paths, etc. would be more acceptable. A 30 storey tower would look as if it was tipping over – sitting on the high side at the crest of Lonsdale hill.
I do understand that going back to the drawing board is tedious and time consuming and we all appreciate the work city council has done thus far. BUT I for one am hoping this current city council will not be as pressured by a developer’s offerings (as a former city council must have been, that agreed to allow the “out of touch” high rise at 2nd and Lonsdale) and make a conscientious and commendable mark on the future of this city, by their final decision for 13th and Lonsdale.
Thank you for listening,
Diane M. Wilson