Comment 73787

By jacob (registered) | Posted February 07, 2012 at 09:22:50

Matthew Van Dongen has gotten this story wrong from the very start. There has been a series of articles in the spec on Setting Sail that seem to have no understanding of our zoning by-laws. The fact that the city changed the zone from residential to commercial does not mean residential will not be allowed. The fear on the part of NEN that the result will be big box stores seems wrong to me - that would be contrary to the OP and not exactly a minor variance they can settle behind closed doors. I'm not sure that mixed use is out of the picture. In fact the change from residential is required to get mixed use - residential is an extremely narrow designation. Commercial can include a range of uses including residential. It makes eminent sense why CN would object to residential, since that would result in more single family homes abutting the yard. And if you ever walk along Stuart, Barton, Tiffany, Caroline, or on the park side of the rails, you can very quickly see why they would oppose that. The yards are in heavy use. They're noisy and extremely smelly. A properly designed tower could abate those noises and smells, but a small home could not.

As for the 'secret deal', that's a separate issue and I can't speak to that, though the Municipal Act allows in camera where real estate deals are concerned or litigation. There are some serious issues around this, not to mention the 10 years it's taken for setting sail to get finished.

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