For those who have been following all the way back since our inception, the above image might look familiar.  It was used in our first post about the Planning & Development Committee rejecting LJM’s Waterview Phase II second major revision in 2016… which Council later overturned and approved.

In the spirit of the election where candidates are asking for your vote, we thought we would look where members of Council put theirs.  We will look at an issue and how members of Council voted and hope you factor their record into your personal decision making process.

As such we are going to look at the LJM Waterview Phase II which is currently under construction and was the subject of a citizen’s OMB appeal after Council approved it.  If you think the 9-storey Phase I building already up along the North Service Road is an eyesore, wait until the 15-storey Phase 2 is completed.  Drive along Winston Road and you can see how close the base of the building is to the houses.

While it may be hard to envision the finished project, here is an artist rendering prepared for the OMB hearing that gives you an idea of the scale and the inappropriate interface with the family homes.  The view is from the nearby park and it should be noted the building colour is for illustration only.   And yes… those little dots on the balconies are people.

As you pick your jaw off the floor, let us also note that this project is NOT in one of the Town’s designated intensification areas and in an area where 6-storeys is the maximum allowed in the Official Plan.

Now let’s dig into the issue.

Issue Before Council

The above plan was presented to the Planning & Development Committee on December 13, 2016 and was the subject of a public meeting that night.  After public input and presentation of the Planning Department’s recommendation to approve the design, the Committee rightfully saw that it did not fit and defeated the proposal.

At the December 19, 2016 Council meeting a delegation from LJM pleaded their case resulting in Council lifting the matter from the P&D minutes to discuss it at length.  When Alderman Wilson questioned what would happen if Council did not approve the project, the owner of the project threatened to take the matter to the OMB with “full force”.

It was estimated at the meeting that it would cost the town only $30,000 to defend their own Planning & Development Committee’s decision and uphold our Official Plan.  But the direction of the Mayor was quite clear and most of the Aldermen sheepishly lined up behind him.

How Did They Vote?

YEAS - APPROVED THE PROJECT 


Alderman
Berry
Ward 1


Alderman
DiFlavio
Ward 4


Alderman
Dunstall
Ward 3


Alderman
Johnston
Ward 3


Alderman
Mullins
Ward 4


Alderman
Seaborn
Ward 2


Alderman
Wilson
Ward 1


Mayor
Bentley
NAYS - DID NOT APPROVE OF PROJECT 


Alderman
Kadwell
Ward 2

Source:  Town of Grimsby – Minutes of Council – December 19, 2016

If sensibility had a voice in Council Chambers that night, only Alderman Kadwell and the residents in the gallery (who are not allowed to speak) could hear it.

Conclusion

It is rather fitting that people have referred to this building design as “The Boot” and  perhaps that is what voters will give the members of Council that voted for it.  If you don’t think the “sky is the limit” when it comes to development, then look how your two Aldermen voted and make it a point of consideration in your electoral decisions.

If the Aldermen who voted for this project did so with a free conscience, then it is a good time to pause and contemplate what else they might approve, if re-elected, with higher and higher projects being proposed to the Town.

Stay tuned for our next instalment in this series.