The elevator shaft issue

Or is it the Development Agreement issue?

Resident Daniels has been keeping us well informed about his continued
pressure on the Town regarding the unexpected height of the Railtown
development, especially the elevator shaft which was invisible in all
the planning documents and drawings. The latest salvo is a letter to
Town Council from Mr. Daniels outlining the points made in the article
included in our post of  Dec. 5  wherein he asks very pertinent questions.  Although it repeats details posted earlier we give his latest missive in full:

Dear Mayor Stead, Deputy Mayor Wrye and Councilors:

In a previous letter to the Town Solicitor, dated November 9, 2006, I 
set forth reasons why the developer of Railtown, Railside Development,
Ltd., may be in breach of the Development Agreement ('DA') it entered
into with the Town. Subsequent to writing that letter, I have reviewed
the power point presentation (the 'Presentation') entitled 'Railtown -
Development Agreement Proposal - Town Council Meeting 22 August 2005,'
made by the Town's Planning Staff to Council at its August 2005
meeting. Based upon a review of the Presentation and the minutes of
that meeting, it is unclear whether members of Council understood the
actual dimensions of the proposed elevator shaft, and in particular,
that the elevator shaft would protrude well above the roof line of the
proposed project. If, in fact, Council members had incorrect knowledge
about the elevator shaft when they approved the DA, then the DA may not
be valid.

The cover page of the Presentation shows a colour drawing of a portion 
of Railtown. No elevator shaft is shown. Pages 16 and 17 contain
diagrams of the whole Railtown project entitled 'Prototypical Elevation
- Facing South' and 'Elevations.' These diagrams are the same or very
similar to the ones which make up Schedule 'b' of the approved DA.
There is no elevator shaft visible in these diagrams, let alone one
that protrudes well above the roof line

Page 22 of the Presentation contains two photos showing the view 
looking down Harbourside Drive from the Tim Hortons' corner at the
intersection of Main Street and Harbourside Drive. The second photo
shows the same view but this time the view has superimposed on it a
simulation of the Railtown building. The elevator shaft is not shown
in this simulated view. Standing at the corner today, the actual
elevator shaft sticks out like a sore thumb. The simulated photo that
was provided did not reveal, but hid, the extent to which the elevator
shaft would be visible above the building's roof line. (If the individual who created the simulation had walked up Gaspereau
Avenue about 100 yards, the view of the elevator shaft would be
evident. And perhaps more to the point, it would have been obvious how
the shaft (and third storey) was going to obstruct the view of the
dykelands.) Page 41 contains the caption 'Roof top observation deck' after which
five comments are made. Two of the comments concern the elevator
shaft: 'From Main Street, architect relates that one will be able to
see 1 ft of the elevator shaft, will not be able to see stairs' and
'Elevator shaft is 12 feet high.' The first comment, in the context of
the full Presentation and without further information, provides little
if any information about the extent to which the elevator shaft would
rise above the roof line. Significantly, and unfortunately, the second
comment does not state: 'the elevator shaft is 12 feet high ABOVE THE
ROOF LINE.' These two comments obfuscate, rather than clarify, how the
proposed building will look with the elevator shaft.
When entering into a contract, there must be a 'meeting of the minds.' 
In other words, to form a contract, the parties must reach a
consensus as to all of its substantial terms. In light of the pictures and
statements discussed above, it is legitimate to ask whether Council
knew prior to its approval of the DA that the elevator shaft would rise
12 feet above the roof line. If the answer is 'no' and the approval
was based upon mistaken knowledge, then the Town should seek
appropriate legal remedies.
David A. Daniels

Want to see some pics? [link]  Wonder
who paid for the crossing signals? Or the new tracks? Did the ToW know about these expenses going in? Heard the Town and the
developers went halfsies on some of the other expenses [WHY!] This is an issue unto itself!!! And a soft underbelly…

PS: Another reader has informed us that Mr. Daniels is asking people to
write letters to complain about the shaft.  We hope they do. Maybe
then Council will tell the truth. The truth is that even if Council
agrees with all of the above their hands may be tied. Once the
agreement is signed off there is very little anyone can do to enforce
the details of that “agreement” because sadly DA’s do not have the
force of a contract. Getting Council to admit that may be hard. They
would prefer people thought they did.

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