Developer cancels contentious project in central LonsdaleA controversial tower development proposed for Lonsdale Ave. near the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver may never see the light of day after developer Onni Group sent a letter to council saying it was scrapping the project in response to “public abuse” from two councillors.In a Dec. 3 letter to City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto and copied to the rest of council, Onni’s president states that the company will be withdrawing its application because of comments made throughout the public process by Couns. Pam Bookham and Rod Clark.“We intend to announce publicly within the next 48- 72 hours that we are withdrawing our application,” Rossano De Cotiis stated. “Unfortunately, we are no longer able to tolerate public abuse from these colleagues of yours and are unwilling to continue to go to endless rounds of public hearings until Councillors Bookham and Clark get their way.”Specifically, it was the accusations that Onni had manipulated a town- hall meeting and public hearing and otherwise manufactured public support for the project.Rod Clark defended his statements. “I made my comments based on the facts as I see them,” he said. “The process is what concerns me the most, and the process has been hijacked, as I indicated.”If Onni follows through, it will kill a project that would have seen 344 condo units in two towers atop a commercial podium including a grocery store, and 40,000 square feet of office space.My posted comment is:A shorter more accurate headline would have been “Good Riddance?”
Read this story carefully. The arrogant developer presented a plan that trampled on the community’s OCP, thought it obtained a lock on approval after it donated money to some of the local politicians during the last election, carefully planned and succeeded in subverting the public hearing process, and then got pissed off when its actions were called into question.At this point, it has issued only an ill-disguised threat. “We intend to announce publicly within the next 48- 72 hours that we are withdrawing our application,” Hopefully it will follow through on its promise. The City of North Vancouver will be far better off..
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