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Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 7:56 PM
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flatlander flatlander is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Winnipeg
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Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
Dear Mr. Swandel,

I am aware of your form letter response to people in opposition to this project and would like to clarify some of your own misinformation/misunderstanding.

You seem to believe that opposition is based on a response to development at the Forks (this may not be technically the Forks property, but functionally it is). The issue is not an aversion to development, it is a desire for a development that maximizes the vast potential of the most valuable civic property that we as a taxpayers own.

You reference the mixed use plan on the adjacent property. Are you unable to see how that type of development would make far more connection to its surroundings? It would help make the Forks more sustainable and the downtown more vibrant. A waterpark is a drive-in/drive-out facility reliant on huge areas of surface parking. The second phase is a bait and switch, be assured. Please note the gravel parking lot at Portage and Main next time you drive home. That is a 30 year old phase 2.

The issue is not how pretty the building is. It is not about design standard. It is about the relationship this type of project has with the Forks and the downtown. This is a site of great opportunity and the proposed development does not maximize that opportunity. It does not matter if it has brick on the front or stucco. Successful urban planning is not about what buildings look like.

Leaving trust in UDAC to make this a successful project is a misguided notion. That group has no teeth and has been circumvented in the past (WRHA Main Street). All the developer has to do is cry that they are being forced to incur extra cost and UDAC vanishes, particularly in council supported projects. This is a well-known fact to developers. I have personally seen it in action.

I understand that I am whistling in the wind and you will sell this opportunity for a paltry $6 million, but I hope that my opposition will one day lead you to educate yourself in successful urban planning principles. There is no reason this site could not have been open to an RFP for more appropriate development.

Read Jane Jacobs in your spare time, please.
The land is within the Forks mandate area, which is outlined i believe in the Shareholder Agreement that the City would be a party to.
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