Comment 101445

By Borrelli (registered) | Posted May 21, 2014 at 10:22:12

The Beasley NA is very supportive of this move, as Councillor Farr has been very responsive to a series of position statements we'd made late last year with regards to surface parking lots in Beasley.

Our point was simple: this is the most central, useful and potentially valuable land in the city being used for the most marginal possible uses. There is no shortage of parking in Beasley, or virtually anywhere downtown, and parking is seriously under-priced.

Our key solution was also simple: that there be no new (net) surface parking spaces in Beasley. That means for every surface space approved in a new development, the city should sell off some of their city-owned spaces for other uses, as indicated by the neighbourhood development plans that the City and residents spent years developing.

Councillor Farr's proposal is, in my opinion, elegant and win-win: the city dispenses with a marginal piece of surface parking land with an agreement to have those spots replaced within a development on the site. The site gets a better use than parking, and in the end tax revenues rise from the new development.

I could not understand the gripes from Councillors Ferguson and Clark, other than as veiled politicking in someone else's turf. Residents want an end to the surface parking blight and enjoy new amenities now, not in another 20 years when the city believes it can sell the lots for a tidy sum. Again, this is suburban councillors trying to tell downtowners that we can't have anything nice because it will somehow come at the expense of suburbanites.

Simply not true: no matter where you live, we can all benefit from a situation where net parking spaces downtown are maintained, property tax revenues increase, and residents get a new development in their neighbourhood that will be far better for quality of life than a black-top.

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2014-05-21 10:23:24

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