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  #61  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 8:08 AM
bigguy1231 bigguy1231 is offline
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Originally Posted by highwater View Post
No. His conversion to the prevailing wisdom on economically sustainable city-building. It is no longer a secret in most quarters that sprawl is an economic drag on our cities. For some reason, you, "most people you know", and much of our current leadership haven't caught up yet. Fortunately Cooke seems to be catching on.

For the record, I'm neutral on Cooke at the moment, and looking for reasons to support him should he seek to revive his political career. I've spoken with him and he seems like a perfectly nice guy. He certainly is talking the talk these days, but I'm reserving my judgment til I see whether he walks the walk, which will include whether he tries to oust McHattie again. His latest column is a positive sign.
Unfortunately, you just don't understand simple economics. If you tell a developer, the people with the money, that they can't build something here, they will take their money and build it elsewhere. Thats why the brownfields have been a failure in this city. They are located in places where developers don't want to spend their money.
Thats why economic developement in this city has been almost nonexistant for the last 30 years. When a developer proposes to build something city council should be saying what can we do to help. Instead what happens in this city is council starts trying to tell them how to do things. Thats why developers move on to other cities like Burlington or Mississauga or any number of other places close by. It's their money, it's their risk, if you don't like what they are proposing then you better have a very good reason for saying no.
Urban sprawl is natural part of any cities growth. Cities have always sprawled then intensified, thats just the way it works. Living in a concrete box and using public transit isn't everyones idea of utopia.
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  #62  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 12:51 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
Let me correct my statement, most people I know think his ideas are a joke. I have no doubt he is a hard working and selfless. In my experience, most politicians are very hard working and selfless. My intent wasn't to impune him personally just his policies. I am sure he is probably a very nice guy.

As for who I know, and what I know, I volunteered my time on various committees at city hall for about 15 years. So I do know alot of people at city hall. I worked with a number of people now in management positions when they were just starting out at city hall. I've also worked on more political campaigns over the last 30 years than I care to remember. I have friends of all political stripes, some still involved and others who have moved on. So I do think I have a pretty good handle on what people are thinking in this city at all levels of government.
Ahh, 'the most people' are the ones who politicized and managed the city while areas like Barton, King East of Wellington, etc have sunk into the abyss.

Thanks for clarifying and that helps explain why they thought any idea other than status quo is a joke.
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  #63  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 1:07 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
Unfortunately, you just don't understand simple economics. If you tell a developer, the people with the money, that they can't build something here, they will take their money and build it elsewhere. Thats why the brownfields have been a failure in this city. They are located in places where developers don't want to spend their money.
Thats why economic developement in this city has been almost nonexistant for the last 30 years. When a developer proposes to build something city council should be saying what can we do to help. Instead what happens in this city is council starts trying to tell them how to do things. Thats why developers move on to other cities like Burlington or Mississauga or any number of other places close by. It's their money, it's their risk, if you don't like what they are proposing then you better have a very good reason for saying no.
Urban sprawl is natural part of any cities growth. Cities have always sprawled then intensified, thats just the way it works. Living in a concrete box and using public transit isn't everyones idea of utopia.
Do you think that Carl Turkstra understands simple economics? After all he does run a successful business, http://www.hamiltoncatch.org/view_article.php?id=360

Comparing Hamilton to places like Burlington & Mississauga that lack a 150 years of manufacturing history is misguided and shows a misunderstanding of differences between the cities.

Rightly it's economics that developers go to the edges to develop. But not clean economics.

They buy the land cheaply, they sit on it for years paying the property taxes by renting it for farming, golf courses, driving ranges, low intensity businesses (i.e. antique markets, garden centres) and then develop with subsidized services (roads, water, sewer, etc). There are lots of links on The Spec's website to back that assertion. If you took away the subsidies to development the developer's behaviour would change. Why because the ecomonics would become at least 'cleaner' and brownfields would become more attractive.

Sprawl may be inevitable, but should also be controlled and properly managed. If they stopped developing at that edges then everyone's property would instantly become more valuable through the economics of supply & demand.
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  #64  
Old Posted May 26, 2009, 2:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
Let me correct my statement, most people I know think his ideas are a joke. I have no doubt he is a hard working and selfless. In my experience, most politicians are very hard working and selfless. My intent wasn't to impune him personally just his policies. I am sure he is probably a very nice guy.

As for who I know, and what I know, I volunteered my time on various committees at city hall for about 15 years. So I do know alot of people at city hall. I worked with a number of people now in management positions when they were just starting out at city hall. I've also worked on more political campaigns over the last 30 years than I care to remember. I have friends of all political stripes, some still involved and others who have moved on. So I do think I have a pretty good handle on what people are thinking in this city at all levels of government.
In other words, the "establishment" thinks McHattie's ideas are a joke.

I think that's why he got re-elected. And why he'll continue to get my vote.

You're happy with the establishment? Honestly?
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  #65  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 7:01 AM
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Originally Posted by FairHamilton View Post
Ahh, 'the most people' are the ones who politicized and managed the city while areas like Barton, King East of Wellington, etc have sunk into the abyss.

Thanks for clarifying and that helps explain why they thought any idea other than status quo is a joke.
It must be a real disappointing for you knowing that you have all the answers and yet nobody will ever take you seriously. It's real easy to place blame in hindsight.
The people who have run this city for the last 40 years did what they thought was best with the information they had at the time. Just as the people who are running it now are doing.
As for politicizing the process, thats what politicians do, thats why it's called politics. If you don't like whats being done then run for office. But judging from what you have to say you wouldn't have a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting elected.
Nowhere in my statement did I say the status quo was acceptable, it's not. We need to elect people with backbones who will stand up to people like you and the handfull of others who have an agenda that is totally out of touch with what the majority of the citizens of this city want. If you don't believe me run for office next year. I'd wager you would get less than 5% of the votes cast.
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  #66  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 8:02 AM
bigguy1231 bigguy1231 is offline
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Originally Posted by FairHamilton View Post
Do you think that Carl Turkstra understands simple economics? After all he does run a successful business, http://www.hamiltoncatch.org/view_article.php?id=360

Comparing Hamilton to places like Burlington & Mississauga that lack a 150 years of manufacturing history is misguided and shows a misunderstanding of differences between the cities.

Rightly it's economics that developers go to the edges to develop. But not clean economics.

They buy the land cheaply, they sit on it for years paying the property taxes by renting it for farming, golf courses, driving ranges, low intensity businesses (i.e. antique markets, garden centres) and then develop with subsidized services (roads, water, sewer, etc). There are lots of links on The Spec's website to back that assertion. If you took away the subsidies to development the developer's behaviour would change. Why because the ecomonics would become at least 'cleaner' and brownfields would become more attractive.

Sprawl may be inevitable, but should also be controlled and properly managed. If they stopped developing at that edges then everyone's property would instantly become more valuable through the economics of supply & demand.
First of all you linked to a report on the Catch website, that lost me right there. They have absolutely no credibility. I don't have any patience for whiners and complainers who cost the taxpayers of this city money everytime they don't get their way. Frivolous lawsuits and appeals of decisions made in a democratic manner are not the way to endear yourself to the citizens of this city.

As for subsidies, thats what cities do. Public transit is subsidized, public housing is subsidized, recreation is subsidized as well as a myriad of other services provided by the city. So why not new roads and sewers. The new developement along those roads will more than pay for those services over the years.

Stopping sprawl certainly will increase property values. The problem with that is living in a house then becomes a luxury, a luxury most people will not be able to afford. That then increases the demand for sprawl since people looking to buy a house will move further afield looking for something affordable to buy. You may be able to stifle developement in this city, but other cities are more than willing to continue developing.

It's a little nieve to think that this city can dictate to developers how they will spend their money. That is what has been happening for the last 30 years in this city and where has it gotten us. Adding more roadblocks isn't going to make things better.
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  #67  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 1:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post

As for subsidies, thats what cities do. Public transit is subsidized, public housing is subsidized, recreation is subsidized as well as a myriad of other services provided by the city. So why not new roads and sewers. The new developement along those roads will more than pay for those services over the years.
And there lies the error in your reasoning. Your support for continued expansion of roads and services to the outlying areas of the city is based on the belief that the development ends up paying for itself in the end through property taxes and development charges. I call this a belief because despite all evidence to the contrary yourself and many people need to believe that this is true. Sprawl is a net drain on the cities resources, low intensity and low quality development on the outskirts of cites has never produced long term gains for any city, anywhere at any time. Eventualy the bill comes due ie. $1 Billion water treatment upgrades at the Woodward plant and similar costs comming due in mega sprawl Mississauga.

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It's a little nieve to think that this city can dictate to developers how they will spend their money. That is what has been happening for the last 30 years in this city and where has it gotten us. Adding more roadblocks isn't going to make things better.
It is nieve to think the City can dictate, I agree. And for a large part the City hasn't been dictating to the developers. Every once in a while the City grows a back bone and stands up for some symballic concessions from the big developers. The developers groan and moan in the media for a bit and then continue on their merry way. I think it's quite clear given the type of development that has occured in this City and many many others in Canada that developers have been dictating to the Cities how to spend our money to best benefit their bottom line. Very subtle mind you, never openly, it just over time it became the way business is done.

Maybe some people on this forum want the city to start 'dictating' to developers. But I think most share the idea that this city and many others need to stop incentivising sprawl development and start removing the barriers against all other forms of development. Not because we want everyone to live in a concrete box but because we can forsee a future where a large number of people in society can no longer afford a car or are not willing to pay to own one. That is where the growth in housing will be in the future and we need to get out from behind the 8-ball fast or we'll lose out.
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  #68  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 2:05 PM
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A fact: every time there is a building development downtown, the developers must pay a tax to subsidize new green parkland. Since there is no "virgin" green parkland downtown, any development downtown goes towards making a "park" on the mountain. This stifles downtown growth. I believe that recently this tax was reduced substantially. We'll see if it helps get some projects off the ground.

Why would a developer choose downtown over lets say Burlington, if they have to pay into a fund that subsidizes something in a completely different area, away from their development? Sounds fishy to me.
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  #69  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 2:22 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
I'd wager you would get less than 5% of the votes cast.
How much? Let's make it worthwhile and for charity.
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Last edited by FairHamilton; May 27, 2009 at 3:43 PM.
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  #70  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 2:30 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
First of all you linked to a report on the Catch website, that lost me right there. They have absolutely no credibility.
Same type of article has been written about in The Globe & Mail, or do you have a problem with the Globe's credibility as well?

http://209.160.24.7/showthread.php?t=161402, or if you are GlobePlus Member; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/subscribe.jsp?art=724203
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  #71  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 2:57 PM
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Originally Posted by adam View Post
A fact: every time there is a building development downtown, the developers must pay a tax to subsidize new green parkland. Since there is no "virgin" green parkland downtown, any development downtown goes towards making a "park" on the mountain.
That's an incorrect assumption. In fact, despite there being no 'virgin' greenspace downtown, lower city parks are actually being made and expanded by the city. A most recent new park would be Jackie Washington Park at Ferguson and Wilson. The new soccer pitches at Kay Drage Park is another example. Then there is the Victoria Park rehabilitation. A new park is also being planned along Rebecca Street (if I remember correctly, at John). Doesn't get much more downtown than that.
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  #72  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 2:57 PM
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It's a little nieve to think that this city can dictate to developers how they will spend their money.
I think it's naive to think that you can build a successful community let alone a city without municipal controls/contribuitions. And, ultimately, the city controls/owns all the land within its corporation. I also guarantee Toronto's planning policy is far heavier on developer's pocketbooks and yet, money is still to be made because of those controls/contributions.
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  #73  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 5:53 PM
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How much? Let's make it worthwhile and for charity.
And this is not a bluff. He'll either win or put up enough of a challenge that Morelli finally pulls his head out of his ass.
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  #74  
Old Posted May 27, 2009, 6:41 PM
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I'd vote for FairHamilton. Don't get too excited however, I'll vote for anyone other than Morelli if he runs again.
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  #75  
Old Posted May 31, 2009, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
I'd wager you would get less than 5% of the votes cast.
bigguy1231,

Now that I've accepted your wager offer. See post;
Quote:
How much? Let's make it worthwhile and for charity.
How would you like to work out the details?
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  #76  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2009, 4:02 AM
bigguy1231 bigguy1231 is offline
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Eventualy the bill comes due ie. $1 Billion water treatment upgrades at the Woodward plant and similar costs comming due in mega sprawl Mississauga.
The reason for the upgrades isn't the lack of capacity, but rather the lack of maintenance of the water treatment facilities. If you fail to maintain something for 40 years of course you are going to have to pay. Add to that the fact that technology has changed and we get the 1 billion dollar cost. I read somewhere that the existing plant was built to accomodate a population of 750 thousand. We are nowhere near that. Sprawl has nothing to do with this expenditure, lack of maintenance and outdated technology does.



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Originally Posted by BrianE View Post
It is nieve to think the City can dictate, I agree. And for a large part the City hasn't been dictating to the developers. Every once in a while the City grows a back bone and stands up for some symballic concessions from the big developers. The developers groan and moan in the media for a bit and then continue on their merry way. I think it's quite clear given the type of development that has occured in this City and many many others in Canada that developers have been dictating to the Cities how to spend our money to best benefit their bottom line. Very subtle mind you, never openly, it just over time it became the way business is done.
The developers in this city are for the most part mickey mouse operations. The big developers won't come anywhere near this city.

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Originally Posted by BrianE View Post
Maybe some people on this forum want the city to start 'dictating' to developers. But I think most share the idea that this city and many others need to stop incentivising sprawl development and start removing the barriers against all other forms of development. Not because we want everyone to live in a concrete box but because we can forsee a future where a large number of people in society can no longer afford a car or are not willing to pay to own one. That is where the growth in housing will be in the future and we need to get out from behind the 8-ball fast or we'll lose out.
I am all for removing barriers to alternative developement and would love to see the city do so, but not at the expense of other developement. Let the market decide which will be more in demand.
As for people not being able to afford a car or being willing to pay for one that is all just supposition. You are trying to predict the future. Fifty years ago they thought we'd be travelling around in sky cars by now. That hasn't come to pass either.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2009, 4:41 AM
bigguy1231 bigguy1231 is offline
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bigguy1231,

Now that I've accepted your wager offer. See post;

How would you like to work out the details?
If I was a betting man, I'd take you up on the offer, but I don't even buy lottery tickets.

If I did, I'd have to change the numbers slightly upward seeing as you would be running against Bernie Morelli. Any stiff in the morgue should be able to get at least 5% of the vote running against him.

If you are really going to run, good luck to you. Whether I agree with you or not, I like to see people get involved. The more points of view and competition the better. Competition and debate is what is going to help this city.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2009, 4:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
The reason for the upgrades isn't the lack of capacity, but rather the lack of maintenance of the water treatment facilities. If you fail to maintain something for 40 years of course you are going to have to pay. Add to that the fact that technology has changed and we get the 1 billion dollar cost.
Don't stop your train of thought there, keep going to the reasoning behind the lack of maintenance. This is a very common theme in municipal infrastructure issues. Maintenance on existing infrastructure like water and sewer and inner city streets and public transit etc. etc was sacrificed because of - wait for it.... - demands from 'the public' to build and fund new infrastructure projects outside of the city proper.

Quote:
I read somewhere that the existing plant was built to accomodate a population of 750 thousand. We are nowhere near that. Sprawl has nothing to do with this expenditure, lack of maintenance and outdated technology does.
Correct, the existing Woodward plant was built to accomodate a population of 750 000 or there abouts. But don't stop there. These estimates were calculated using development density figures and run-off coefficients that were common for development at the time of its construction. Since that time development has become less and less dense and more and more land intensive. More land has been paved over but with less people living on it per square km.

These are all the hidden costs of subsidizing sprawl. Defered maintenance to existing infrastructure, increased storm water run off due to 100's of km of low densitiy highly impermeable development.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2009, 7:56 PM
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If I did, I'd have to change the numbers slightly upward seeing as you would be running against Bernie Morelli. Any stiff in the morgue should be able to get at least 5% of the vote running against him.
This is called moving the goalpost and is generally frowned upon when you're trying to get people to take you seriously.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2009, 8:16 PM
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What else can you do when faced with the fact that your assumptions were incorrect?
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