This is a comment from long-time Bulldog contributor Ron Benn concerning the new concierge system that will assign city staffers to developers to speed their applications through the civic bureaucracy:
The city planning department speaks its own language, to the point where outsiders cannot hold a meaningful conversation with them, as the terminology used by planners is unknown to the great unwashed.
Developers have to hire or retain the services of specialists, people who can perform simultaneous developer-to-planner, planner-to-developer translations. Sometimes these individuals, or others within their firms, speak with elected officials about the grandiose plans, seeking the support of those elected officials to transfer value (privacy, sunlight hours … ) from the owners of land adjacent to the developer, with no consideration given to the landowner. A form of government by fiat.
Now, it appears that the city is prepared to hire or redirect existing personnel to assist the developers in their discussions with the city planners. Another way to put it is that the city is once again transferring value from the taxpayers (compensation expense) without delivering value back to the taxpayers. To compound this, it appears that this action will reduce the value proposition offered by companies such as FoTenn, thus reducing the cost to apply for the rubber-stamped re-zoning application.
So, Bulldog readers, ask your councillor “What is the value proposition for the residents of Ottawa?” behind this proposition.
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