"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

Monday 9 June 2014

Lord,,,Give me strength

As soon as the laneway to the swimming pool was mentioned I knew it was the Armata House we 
are talking about. 

The last discussion I heard for that property, a long time ago, the proposal was multiple residential. 

The  house is not designated. There is no bylaw registered against the title .

The property is listed as "of interest".

Even without legal authority, the heritage planner has set out for all to see the methods used  to compel owners. to do  as they're told.

Note the words. owners be "encouraged" to conserve the building because it has been listed as worthy of conservation.

"encouraged" to "work with staff"  by "submission of a structural engineering report" and by a 
"letter of undertaking"    "to  re-locate the building"  " should the owner submit an application for 
severance to the Committee of the Adjustment"

"That the owner be encouraged to ensure that any new structure on a newly severed lot should be in harmony with the established context of the Neighbourhood in scale, design,rhythm and massing and that this be reflected in the Letter of Undertaking"

''Encouraged '' is the operative word throughout the report. 

Because there is  no authority to require 

No  authority to compel an owner to provide a "Letter of Undertaking"  

The   request is a for  demolition permit.

The recommendation is it be denied .

Council approval is  apparently required.

I am familiar with the property. From an assessment perspective,the business of the municipality,  the property is under-utilized. 

If revenue can be increased  from town investment in  urban services we should doing that.

Increasing revenue  from existing investment is preferable to increasing the tax burden.

The property is service with sewers and water.

 Roads and sidewalks are plowed. Streets are illuminated. Construction maintained. 

Police and fire protection are provided.

Nothing encourages me to conserve  cultural heritage interest of the property, whatever that means. 

 George  Street and Hillview  Drive have a variety of housing styles. 

How are harmony and rhythm established among structures  designed for privacy, security and shelter from the elements ???

Never mind... I don't care....sue me. 


Anonymous said...

Demolishing a lovely, old house in great condition (check out the photos from the listing) is ludicrous, and should be criminal.

Anonymous said...

The Agenda for this evening's Heritage Advisory Committee Meeting is in front of me.

HAC14-015 is a request to remove a Property from the Aurora Register of Properties of Cultural Value or Interest - 83 George Street.

You state: "The request is for a demolition permit.
The recommendation is to be denied.
Council approval is apparently required.
I am familiar with the property. From an assessment perspective, the business of the municipality, the
property is underutilized.
If revenue can be increased from town investment in urban services we should be doing that."

Beyond the above mentioned Agenda I know nothing about a demolition permit. Possibly one has been applied for by the owner and if this is the case I can understand the reference in the third paragraph "to sever the property into two lots in the future." I do not know what the specific zoning is for this particular property and the planning designation within which it is located. I would imagine there will be objections from neighbourhood residents if a severance application goes before the Committee of Adjustment.

I really don't see what business it is of the town to attempt to maximize property tax revenue in this particular instance while being completely ignorant in the case of several planning applications during the past few years concerning condominium development and building height from the standpoint of number of floors. The present Kaitlin construction on Yonge Street was delayed for several years over this point.

If the town is interested in maximizing revenue it should also be interested in maximizing building height, or does the nasty nose of aesthetics enter the picture?

George Street homes have for the most part existed for quite some time and even with the differences in style and size there is a general atmosphere of an acceptable, comfortable neighbourhood.

Go over to Hillview and you have some of the remaining original homes overpowered by some of the ugliest monstrosities I have seen in many years. In order to build a 5,000 - 7,000 square foot house on a 50 - 55 foot lot all of these buildings have two-car garages under the house so when you look at them from the front you see an inclined driveway and planted above and beside it an Italianate or Franco-Prussian or God knows what bizarre style of architecture the builder has selected for his latest tasteless creation.

You should be happy with this crap as it is generating a much higher revenue for the town than the little old bungalow that used to occupy this lot.

You should really drive over there and see for yourself what could possibly be built beside your home. You might just throw up.

Anonymous said...

I saw the listing. It’s a lovely house. That being said, I see nothing “historical” to keep. And to think of an entire area of a Town being designated “historical”? I’ve said it before, and will say it again. Thank you to all who fought that disaster in the making.

Anonymous said...

From the Urban Dictionary:

"faux chateau

An overly pretentious, historically inaccurate suburban tract house that co-opts 17c Provencal (French) architectural detailing in order to project an "old world" image and, ostensibly, the cachet and wealth that comes with such an image. Usually fails miserably when two or more houses are placed within 5 feet of one another, often being incompatible styles altogether."

Anonymous said...

21:28, what you describe on Hillview is exactly what the proponents of the SEHCD are trying to prevent.

Anonymous said...

And if there are no willing buyers ? Are you prepared to buy that residence ? Do you even live in our area ? Everything that does not agree with your rigid standards should be judged " criminal "????

Anonymous said...

Man, 08:22, don't get your knickers in such a knot. I've no doubt that there are "willing buyers" for such a gorgeous Arts & Crafts home (those that can afford over a million bucks, of course).

Anonymous said...

This isn't your run of the mill subdivision home. I don’t see it “historical or heritage” either. A certain type of individual or family would have to be interested in buying a home like that, which means your average days on the market would be much more. The lot is huge. If it was mine….I would do the same thing. Down it would come.