Friday, January 31, 2014

THEY WERE WARNED BY JANE JACOBS

Several years ago, the esteemed Jane Jacobs wrote a letter of support to a group fighting to prevent the destruction of heritage buildings in Port Dalhousie, part of St. Catharines. What followed was a story similar to that of the Bay Beach Property fiasco.

With the help of another OMB ruling in favour of the developers, the fight was all but lost. Again, it appeared that the mayor and some councillors were pushing for this development despite opposition from people in Port.

Flash Forward and now Port Dalhousie looks like a war zone.Demolition and neglect have all but destroyed a once thriving tourist and business area.

Finally, the council of St. Catharines has taken action but it remains to be seen if the "build it or sell" approach has any teeth. In 2009, when the OMB ruled in favour of the developer, there was a five year period in which construction must be completed. The developers ran into the same problems as the Molinaros, who were given the go-ahead by the OMB to build a twelve story condo tower on public waterfront land: they couldn't pre-sell enough units to secure financing. Of course the plan kept changing and misrepresentations abounded. 

At least we have only a neglected and ruined snack bar to worry about. The downtown core of Port Dalhousie is, as one councillor said, "a mess."  That is an understatement.

Read the article for yourself:
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2014/01/28/st-catharines-council-urges-speedy-tower-construction

Then be sure to read the comments following the article. Many of the comments are from regular people who opposed Port Place because it was out of character with the rest of the village. For that, they have been called NIMBYs and worse. But Jane Jacobs thought their cause was a worthy one and, shortly before her death, advised the people to keep up the fight.

Like the Molinaro project, the Port Place project seemed to have died of its own hubris.

Further Background Information:

Candidates Repay Donated Money to Their Campaigns.

From the 2011 article:

"Regional Coun. Tim Rigby and St. Andrew's Coun. Matt Harris say they've each paid $750 back to Port Dalhousie developer Dan Raseta, and Port Dalhousie Coun. Len Stack said he paid back $1,500, after they realized they accepted multiple donations from the same group of companies. Regional Coun. Andy Petrowski said he paid $250 back."

So, they accepted donations from the Port Place developer and did not return the donations until they were advised by the developer's lawyer to pay them back to be "in compliance."

Does this not smell to high heaven? Can you still not understand why some developers hold sway over every level of government with total disregard for the wishes of the people?  Of course, there are good and proper developments all over the Niagara region, but the Port Dalhousie and Bay Beach projects were controversial from the very beginning.

Keep at it folks. There is a story here that is still to be revealed.

9 comments:

  1. There should be some sort of accountability to The Developer, council at the time and the OMB who approved!

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  2. VERY CONCERNED CITIZENJanuary 31, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    I would hope that EVERYONE take a gander at what Mr Martin and Mr Thiberts Ninjas have just posted. Most importantly it would be nothing less our civic duty to inform ALL the ninja endorsed candidates just what these people are posting and doing so with an implied notion that the candidates approve.
    If after reading their garbage there is no effort by their sponsers to stop it I would look to us to organize a public display demanding action by the mayor and the EDTC GM
    The offending post is titled "Are you feeling intimidated by the ninja"
    The answer of course is NO WE'RE DISGUSTED!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let's see. We have Kimberly Zanko running again in Ward 3. Her name is associated with one of the billboards that trashed those against the Bay Beach Project. I saw her at a council meeting in 2010 and I overheard her saying, "Since I'm running for council, I thought it would be a good idea to see what they do." (Very Palinesque) She used to work for Jim Thibert. His friend Marina Butler donated to Zanko's campaign - maximum amount allowed. Now, Marina herself has put her name in to run in Ward 4. Marina's employment company provides HR services for the race track which, we know, is run by Jim Thibert. There are others circling the election drain who are on board to follow the mayor's agenda.

    These people have only one goal: to change the balance of power on council to its former rubber stamp status. There will be big money poured into their campaigns. They will not represent the people. They will be nothing but shills for the "boys."

    Oh, and there's always Tim Whitfield who was championed by Martha Lockwood, who went before her service club asking for $1000. for Tim who is in need after his house burned down. He's the guy who claims he has enough money on hand to be able to afford to sue four councillors for conflict-of-interest. If the court case goes south, will he be able to afford court costs? You know the truth of the situation. Tim has closed his business and his wife left him. He's living in his garage. Yet he has enough money to afford to mount a lawsuit against four councillors. And if you believe that, I've got a snackbar on a beach for you.

    So folks. Fasten your seat-belts. It's gonna be a bumpy flight. The lies will come fast and furiously from the ninjas. They have already called me a psychopath. Yeah. because I started a blog to inform people of the other side of what's happening in this town that helped wake up the people to the truth, And for that, I have been sued and harassed and called names and lied about. Forget about me; look into it yourselves. Find out about the billboards and the blogs and who is responsible for them. Find out who provides the many perks enjoyed by some elected and non-elected officials. Make an informed decision.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These Port Dalhousie paybacks are only the smallest tip of the iceberg.

    Of course I am in no way drawing any parallels with some of our outstanding local officials as Bay Beach was an entirely different case.


    Yeah right.

    ReplyDelete
  5. VERY CONCERNED CITIZENFebruary 1, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Should it be any surprise that the ninja find it humourious that their actions be brought to mayor Martin's attention?
    While Ms North's insulting attack in Council Chambers was defended to the hilt by Martin the rest of us can expect ABSOLUTELY NO HELP from Old Done Deal Doug.
    Unless of course you've kiss his..
    Ring

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that Greggers will cause his own downfall, possibly with the help of some he considers his friends. He is an angry, loose cannon and a bully. Remember, he was thrown off the other blog for his over-the-top remarks. Then he started his own. It does seem that he is anti-American. And he certainly has a bug up his arse about me. I believe he wants to curry favour with the likes of Jim Thibert, so he goes after me. Yes, I was sued successfully by Jim Thibert - with taxpayer money. What a waste of time and taxpayer money. I'm still blogging; Google never shut me down; I took a break at the end of last year. This whole thing is affecting my health because I suffer from chronic depression for which I take medication. It is especially difficult during the winter. However, as the only blog in this town that gives a voice to people not marching in lock step behind the old boys, I feel it is important to carry on. There is an important election coming up. Will the town return to its former state? Or will it continue to reflect the opinion of the voters? I hope for the latter and I believe that information coming out through the conflict-of-interest case will prove that there is far reaching campaign of intimidation and character assassination towards the four councillors. Hopefully, the whole, ugly truth will come out. It is very, very disturbing what has been done to usurp the will of the voters.

      Delete
  7. Taking the high roadFebruary 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Sharon, I am proud of you and all of our supporters. We come across as reasonable and dignified citizens. All we want is to establish a public beachfront that the public can enjoy for generations to come.

    We don't bully, it's not in our nature.

    ReplyDelete

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