"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

Friday 26 February 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "RESIDENTS DON'T MAKE DECISIONS": 

It is tricky. They believe they have a " right " to another green space despite all the plans showing it not necessary. The pressure is on because Highlands impacts on so many more individuals who also feel entitled. You might think we were imitating that lot of nut bars in Oregon who claimed a nature reserve for their cattle. Thank heavens we can fight it out without the long guns. I think they should compromise and accept a small amount of development . They don't have the bodies needed to influence the next election.  
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 26 February 2016 at 03:58


If full cost was fully understood, the comment might not be quite so sanguine.

Millions of dollars of public and private resources are spent in the planning process. 

The Province writes legislation and planning policies that trump whatever is done at the local level. Separate ministries have authority to ensure official plans conform to provincial intent and without harm to the environment. 

The Region has authority over the municipality. Local  plans  must conform to the Regional plan 
which must conform to provincial legislation and policies.  

South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority has environmental control over the northern half of the 
region. Lake Ontario Conservation Authority has control of the southern half. 

Trees must be protected from injury.

Massive public palaces are constructed to accommodate armies of provincial,regional and municipal bureaucrats who toil away at the planning process on an ever -shrinking number of hours per day and days per year.,

Much time and activity comes to nothing at all at the end. 

Millions of trees are cut down to provide paper to copy with thousands  of KWs hours of energy consumed 

Hundreds of thousands of cars  add to the carbon footprint carrying  them to and fro .Asphalt is spread over thousands of acres and now many-layered buildings are constructed  to provide more space to store cars than to house people. 

Empty urban spaces ,including golf courses, with sewer and water lines running past, street lighting, fire protection, police patrolling, empty buses trundling, street cleaning, snow plowing, parking control, urban forest management, parks and schools , all carry a hefty financial  burden while land sits idle and unproductive. 

Armies of expensive  administrative personnel sit high on the hog at a variety of levels of government and  government agencies are required  to advise and consent on every dot in every  development proposal 

Developers retain experts, lawyers, planning consultants,,engineers, to prepare plans that conform to the multitude of regulations and government requirements. 

The process takes years .

Millions are spent. Public and private.

Much of it with no result .  But the end product,family housing, shopping amenities , exercise clubs,dance studios, indoor tennis,golf and soccer facilities ,bear the cost of the process plus various taxes like land transfer tax ,harmonized sales tax, collected again at every transactional stage, building permits, development charges, workmen's compensation, unemployment insurance, vacations, life insurance, health and  retirement benefits......to name but a few. 

The last step is presenting the plans to the public to run the gauntlet of public approval and the comments of neighbours. 

Decisions are expected but  repeatedly deferred . 

Concerns must be addressed. 

More meetings held , more reports. Repetition is repeated and so the clock turns and the cost rises.,

At any time during the process ,developers are "asked"  to buy tables for eight or ten at fund-raising dinners , costing thousands of dollars . Or foursomes and banquet tables  and prizes at silent auctions at dozens of Mayor's annual golf tournaments so that the Mayor's can look like Monarchs , not butterflies, and give generously to  charitably deserving groups. Like food banks for the hungry ,like Senior's and children. 

Municipal and various professional annual conferences survive on high association fees, on gold, platinum and silver sponsorships , purchased by developers, law firms, banks and whatever other business make a living from development. 

Finally, a municipal decision must be made. The law requires it . Within a time limit.

Or not. 

Like in development of Aurora Highlands Golf Course. Possibly,after months,  an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. 

Pre-hearing conferences .
More delay. 
More legal costs.
Repeat meetings, reports and armies of experts. 

The Board must be mindful of provincial law and growth policies, environmental restrictions,policies  and procedures, regional official plans and recommendations , appellants' objections , municipal decisions ....or none. 

The board does not have to worry about losing favour in the next election. 

But if some municipal Councillors have their way, that too may come to pass .


Anonymous said...

Good mock-up about gov't procrastination in the Auroran by Scott.

Anonymous said...

I just hope our land greedy bunch do not buy Hallmark. They have a tendency to purchase land & then wonder what to do with it.

Anonymous said...

12:56- They town bought the land, but not the building.

Anonymous said...

I bet if the Town removed the word Culture from the down town plan, it just might get things moving. This down Town area can't have everything. Business, parking, traffic, heritage, culture and God only knows what else their trying to make work in this area, you can't have it all, because as we all know....nothing gets done.

Anonymous said...

I have seldom read about any municipality being taken to task for not adhering to all those pesky little details legislated from above. There is always an escape clause of ignorance or blaming staff.

Anonymous said...

20:01 - Staff should be taken to task as well. Oooops...can I say that?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes staff are the driver. We saw that during this council's first term. I have no idea who is calling the shots now.

Anonymous said...

Money is always the driver.

Anonymous said...

If Council is going to go for a compromise. they should do it before the next election.

Anonymous said...

Storm coming