The Voter, a frequent Bulldog contributor, has some wise words for the LeBreton development project:
I don’t understand what there is to “negotiate” at LeBreton.
Why is Mayor Jim Watson not waiting for the developer to come forward with a plan for the site that would go through the regular process like any other new development? We all know that the vision Eugene Melnyk & Co. put forward to the NCC is just that and there will be many changes to it before a shovelful of dirt is touched.
Were Watson and former city manager Kent Kirkpatrick involved in “negotiating” the planning for those god-awful condos at the east end of the Flats? (If they were, that’s one more good reason not to let them near the Sens project.) Was his nose involved in the “negotiations” for the huge development going in at the old Rockcliffe Base? He needs to go and reread his job description – there’s nothing in there about “negotiating” development deals.
A thought – what happens if Watson does his “negotiating” and the result comes to planning committee and they turn it down because it doesn’t meet zoning or some other standard? That would be priceless. Of course, I know how often planning committee votes against a developer but it would be a good time for them to start. Maybe that’s Watson’s plan – if he and city manager Steve Kanellakos are involved in the pre-planning, maybe he thinks he can do an end-run around the whole planning process with all those annoying steps and approvals to be sought. He’ll bring his extensive training and education in urban planning to the table and help Senators owner Eugene Melnyk get the plan of his dreams approved without any nasty staff or councillors asking their pesky questions. Then Melnyk will have to like him. And then Watson can pretend that he, not Melnyk, is responsible for whatever ends up on LeBreton Flats coming to fruition.
Maybe Watson should go and tell the National Capital Commission board that he ought to be part of their team “negotiating” with the Sens people. See how far he gets there. NCC chairman Russell Mills, being a man of words, will have lots of ways to tell him “no”.
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