Comment 63267

By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted May 09, 2011 at 17:13:10

In my humble opinion there are several things the city could do immediately to curtail the continued decline of places like King E and Barton St.

  1. Begin some meaningful and effective and if need be punitive form of property standards enforcement.

Start hitting absentee or speculative landlords in the tax roll or pocket book. Develop a set of minimum standards that detail storefront appearances, acceptable uses, occupancy. Enforce the Ontario Fire Code. (This is a very powerful set of regulations if used properly). The broken window doctrine works. When it is unacceptable to allow a property to decay, and there are penalties when you do, things change. This city needs to shed its legacy of allowing historical, architecturally significant and building stock in general to decay, rot and be bulldozed to make parking lots.

  1. Explore, introduce, institute and develop investment and development incentives for targeted areas. These could include taxation incentives (deferral), grants, low or zero interest loans. With performance contracts and penalties if commitments aren't met.

  2. Cut the red tape that people have to got through to get a project off the ground and begin contributing economically. City Hall should be a one stop experience for applying for permits, variances, licenses, loans, grants etc. You shouldn't have to speak to 7 people in 3 departments to obtain the information you need to get going.

  3. Two way King St from Gage to Wellington. It's not a panacea but will slow traffic down, encourage more pedestrian traffic particularly if people begin developing some of these very affordable multi-use properties.

  4. Market the area. Be loud and proud. There are some terribly misinformed people posting here who seem to think that the area is akin to deepest darkest Detroit. That could not be farther from the truth. Are there issues? Certainly. No urban area in transition is free of them. However there is way more upside than down.

Comment edited by Shempatolla on 2011-05-09 17:15:51

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