Dump The Luxury Housing, Jeff Leiper: THE VOTER

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Long-time Bulldog commenter The Voter takes on Councillor Jeff Leiper and his support of higher buildings at Lansdowne:

One of the other points Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper made in his newsletter that activist J.P. Unger didn’t mention is that he is not averse to adding more floors to the two remaining high-rise apartment buildings.

We don’t need a 40-storey building never mind one higher than that. This flies in the face of Leiper’s battles in his own ward to have developers shave height off the buildings they propose. It seems he’s willing to increase density when it’s in someone else’s backyard so he’s saying YITBY – Yes In Their Backyard.

Lansdowne: So Many Reasons To Vote No: BENN


One thing is abundantly clear. He does not understand that a developer who wants to change the zoning to allow him to build a 30-storey building and is at all conversant with the practices of Ottawa City Hall will bring forward a proposal to put up a 40-storey building. Upon the ensuing negative response of the neighbouring community, he comes back with a 34-storey version. If that doesn’t stifle the objections, he will produce a 30-storey building which will be introduced as the result of him listening and being responsive to the community since he’s such a good community member even though he will lose barrels of money on the reduced size and resulting loss of revenues to him.

So let’s be clear. Ottawa Sports and Entertainment never expected to get approval for three buildings with a maximum height of 40 storeys. Did you see how quickly they made the third building disappear? Now along comes Leiper who seems to be suggesting that the floors they ‘lost’ from building 3 could be added back at the top of buildings 1 and 2.

Here’s the bottom line, councillor – we don’t need the first 26 and 40 storeys. We absolutely don’t need to plunk extra floors on top of two inappropriate buildings that have no place being built in a park. We do desperately need more housing but it has to be appropriate to the site. We also need to build housing that meets the needs of those most in need of a roof over their heads and that doesn’t mean small, expensive boxes in the sky. Does he think the 40th floor of an apartment building in a community with abysmal transportation services is an appropriate place to raise a family?

The Voter is a respected community activist and long-time Bulldog commenter who prefers to keep her identity private.

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1 Response

  1. Andrew Zenner says:

    As well the cost of construction of a 60 storey building is not likely to be cheaper/floor than the cost/floor of a 40 storey building. Construction costs per unit will likely remain the same. If this is the case, then the only way additional units will be cheaper if there is no additional cost for the land. Since the City is selling air rights in this case, instead of land, the City would have to sell the air rights for a 60 storey building for the same price that they would charge for a 40 storey building. Hence a higher building is not likely to result in any less costly units. Given that this project is ultimately going to be supported by the taxpayer, if Leiper wants social housing paid for by the taxpayer, he might was well just propose an additional $500 mln. to social housing rather than to OSEG based on a financial model with no creditability. Either proposal will result in the taxpayer being on the hook to finance an additional $500 million in debt. You just have to pick your priorities for where you want to go into debt.

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