The letter following our comment was presented at the Public Meeting last night. Voices comment:
At the end of last night’s OCP Public Meeting, it was a bit disconcerting to hear the remarks by Councillor Keating and the Mayor during the council wrap-up.
Regarding the proposed density increases for the East 3rd area – which drew significant opposition from residents immediately to the north – Councillor Keating stated that he was originally not in favour of reviewing the OCP. He also noted that 95% of the speakers came from the area that accounted for 7 or 8% or the land mass and implied the remainder of the City must be satisfied. (We note that a great number of people chose not to stay to speak).
Mayor Mussatto stated: regarding the East 3rd area, we don’t have to have it finalized with the OCP. As Councillor Keating pointed out, there’s no rush, we could have it as a special study area . But in regard to the situation on East 1st (where a residents’ group is lobbying for a big increase in allowable density), he added there is an argument to look at the proposal sooner rather than later and there are good reasons to look at higher density there.
Given these comments, and Councillor Keating’s past record of supporting ad hoc amendments to city zoning instead of a long-term plan that gives residents some certainty, we wonder if we’re about to see an attempt to do an end run around the OCP planning process. We certainly hope not.
To Mayor and Council: presented at Public Meeting June 18:
To: Mayor and Council
Mayor and Council and OCP staff co-joined the possibility for residents on the south side of 500 Block East First and Second Streets being awarded compensation for loss of view and perceived loss of real estate value.
Mayor was sympathetic, stating “We will see what we can do.”
In June 2013 OCP placed the 500 Block East area under densification status without prior Survey or public participation.
Mayor and Council failed to provide notice to residents in the immediate area.
Dialogue did not flow from the community as a whole.
The 500 Block East group had no opposition. With the help of a real estate agent they solidified their position.
Their delegation recently unveiled plans for an immediate massive restructuring of the entire block.
This situation need not have occurred.
Both OCP, Mayor and Council were in a position to prevent tension and anxiety within the community.
Their duty was to ensure participation by all the residents in the decision making process.
Their negligence has led to the current tension and anxiety within the community.
Further, a decided bias has been noted:
Mayor Mussatto and Councillor Keating * attended a meeting of the 500 Block East group, voicing an anticipated favourable decision regarding density level.
At the following council meeting, not being provided with the density level anticipated, Councillor Keating’s (one councillor) expressed his disappointment, his consequent behaviour and remarks are significant – give them l.6
It is clear – the scales are not evenly balanced.
542 East First Street
*At public meeting reference to names was omitted, however this copy in its original form was sent to Mayor and Council