What do you think would happen if you came to the Town planners for a permit to build a house 5 feet from the street and they said you had to conform to the set back which is more like 25 feet from the street, and you told them, no, it would be cheaper for you not to have a driveway that long? Wouldn’t they say go jump?
But what happens when a developer wants to cut some of the Town’s corners to cushion their bottom line? You don’t have to look very far. Here’s an excerpt from David Daniels latest.
In two recent cases, and one soon to go before the Town Council, developers’ financial interests have been raised in the course of considering their proposals.
In the case of the Segado development on Willow Avenue and Railtown, the public raised concerns about the size of the projects, and in both cases each developer replied that it was not economically feasible for a smaller building to be constructed.
In the case of Woodman Grove, the development presently under construction on the east end of town, the developer has requested an amendment to the development agreement it entered into with the Town. One of the three reasons the Planning Staff report provides to support approval of the proposed amendment is that it will be to the developers financial benefit. (This matter is scheduled to be decided at the next Council meeting on March 24th.)
That’s why we don’t like development agreements. There are no hard and fast rules and they are too easy to play with.
There is nothing in the Town’s Municipal Planning Strategy (“MPS”) or the Province’s Municipal Government Act that says a developer’s economic well-being, his profit margin, should be considered when deciding whether or not to approve a project. And nor should it be. If a developer can’t fully abide by the policies established by the Town and make a profit, then the developer should either go somewhere else, or try to have policies changed. There should be no sliding scale when it comes to obeying the Town’s policies and guidelines.
David has two suggestions about how to deal with this in the new MPS. Read the rest at Voices of Wolfville