"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday 12 October 2013

An E-mail exchange

Below is my response to a resident's concern. I tried to put his e-mail first and my response to follow.
But it didn't work .

I don't know why
She swallowed a fly

Thank you for  taking the time to express your thoughts. 
There is information relevant to the issue.

First is the nature of a subdivision agreement:
School Boards and the municipality are required to indicate at the time of a development proposal whether sites for schools or a park will be required.In turn, the applicant is required to set aside whatever sites may be  indicated. 

Often it's many years before a subdivision  plan is complete. When  there is considerable development going on, the  need for a school in a particular area is not always clear. 

If  sites are not requested at the beginning of  the planning process, they cannot be obtained afterwards. 

This subdivision agreement called for the town to have first right of refusal if sites  chosen by the school boards are not required. 

The price at that point is no longer  for raw land .It's a reflection of all the costs of developing the subdivision; cost of your lot multiplied many times over. 

In this instance ,the town did not require a park site based on the Master Recreation Plan .
That's the document that supports the calculation for development charges.
It's a convoluted process .
Sometimes when I try to explain it I  can see the  eyes of the person I'm talking to  glaze over as they conclude I'm  giving them the run around. Nothing can be that complicated. Unfortunately for all of us, it is that complicated and worse.

Because we did not require a  park ,we took 2 million dollars in lieu instead.

The  town's need now is for  community park. It's a large parcel that will accommodate 
a variety of sports fields such as you mention and parking , servicing, toilets lighting nd all the other amenities you can imagine. 

The town, by law, only take  five percent of land for a park . It means a community park  designation will not come from any development currently designated. 

It follows if we are to provide such a facility,  a large parcel of land will have to be purchased. 

The site at Mavrinac is surrounded  by homes. 

Our regulations call for buffers to be established between homes and parks. By the time a buffer would be provided the site would  hardly accommodate  any of  the facilities  that interest you. 

The  price would be what it cost  to provide  roads and services , carrying charges for money and the years it took  for that   and all the professional services necessary to  complete the process.
Your home probably incurred  $100.000 in taxes even before it was built. 

The  market value assessment  to determine the level of property taxes  to be paid  to the corporation for your share of municipal  services  includes all those hidden taxes. 

You pay interest on the mortgage  you raised to pay the  hidden taxes. 

You pay taxes on taxes for as long as you own the home. 

You contributed to the $2 million dollars the town took in lieu of parks. 

And you still did not pay what it would cost to purchase that land for a small neighborhood park.

Council must make the decision to exercise the option or not. 

I  have voted no. 

I hope the above explanation helps to explain why.

You can't afford it and neither can I.

Evelyn Buck 
 Our family is has come to realize you are meeting to discuss the open lot on Mavrinac Blvd. (2B lands, block 208) in the coming weekWe are Aurora residents who live across from this lot .

 We wish to express our desire that the land become a park or other public space such as tennis courts, baseball diamond, outdoor rink or pool.  

We have two young daughters and believe that family amenities are badly needed in this area. 

Current parks are crowded and there is a lack of public space most notably tennis courts, baseball diamonds and pools (we come from an area that had all these amenities nearby). 

Further to this we would like to note that something should be done to calm traffic on this street rather than make it worst and we are hopeful that you will not allow development of townhouses on this land as it is already very densely developed and traffic is a concern especially with a 1 and 3 year old who plays outdoors often.

Thank you and looking forward to meeting you in person,



Anonymous said...

Oh, gosh. Surely they did not purchase their place believing a park would be put in across the street ? If there isn't one in that holy of holies, The Master Plan, it simply will not appear from thin air. Lots of parks and facilities around. Sorry about the pool but the last one I recall was back of George StreetSchool ages ago.

Anonymous said...

What about a Habitat Home ? Aurora lacks one.

Anonymous said...

Hello Evelyn:

As I have followed your blog, The Auroran and Council and GC meetings over the past several weeks, and much longer before, it strikes me that there is very little, if anything, of a positive nature that is discussed.

Can you point us toward any significant positive accomplishments during the nearly three years of this council's term that have met with the general approval of our town's residents?

It would be nice to think that these exist, but unfortunately they seem to get buried under the weight of acrimony and stupidity.

Anonymous said...

I checked the Agenda. Councillor Abel in the Chair. He will have his hands full if the terrible team go on a tear.

Anonymous said...

If this is a decent sized parcel, it should be sold. Aurora needs the revenue and condos would provide increased taxation. The Region is demanding in-filling and will likely support any move in that direction. [ A few years back, they over-ruled Morris & allowed permits for 2 houses on a piece that normally would only have had one ]

Anonymous said...

It is puzzling why Councillor Gallo is driving this train. He won't even approve improvements to a little existing park. Consistency takes a back seat.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Gallo who fought the people around David English Park over their tennis courts & even stopped work in the middle of its construction ? Just asking