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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 4:23 PM
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I just sent mine get writing lads

Hello Councillors

I'd like to start by wishing everyone a happy New Year and I hope you all enjoyed the holidays.
I wanted to make some comments with regards to development in the Downtown of the city. Firstly I applaud you for how many good decisions you have made when it comes to properties such as the star of the sea site, the MIX, Marconi, Mirador site as well as the Marriott extension.

As you are all aware, our city is now an energy city and there are great pressures to balance our amazing heritage which makes us who we are and very unique, with progress and attracting companies which will helps us grow into the future and not only provide us the jobs for future generations to stay home but to attract people from away. We have come a long way as a city in a short period of time and that will not slow (take a look at the population growth in other energy cities such as Calgary and Dubai both of which were our size or smaller at some point). Our city will need to grow and though extensive conversations with many many people including friends and family, many people believe the key to grasping our potential while preserving our past is to take a European approach to it and create a height exempt area in the West end of Downtown. Such buildings that will take us into the future as 351 water street, Fortis Place as well as the deacon building. You should consider making this area all height exempt (except the few buildings such as the Newman Wine Vaults), this area should have some policies that try to attract these developments to this area so that it relieves pressure on the east end downtown. There could even be a height minimum which will help in getting more creative proposals and getting the most use out of the area.

In order to attract and retain young people to our capital city we need to become more urban and in becoming more urban there is greater job opportunities and people want to live home and they want to live in such a unique place.

We are an Island, however only in the literal sense. There are other cities close enough to our offshore for companies to set up in if they do not see a clear way to set up here. I hope you take this into consideration as I know the municipal plan is not finalized as of yet. We have a very bright future however we need to stop just battling (pro development vs pro heritage) and live and function side by side because it BOTH has a place in this great city and it both is essential to our growth and existence.


Thank you for your time,

[Jeddy]
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 4:32 PM
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Hear, hear! Excellent letter. And, for purely personal reasons, I'm glad to see some more emphasis on heritage preservation. We really can and should have both.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 4:40 PM
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The first one to respond to my email was Councillor O'Leary

this is basically what she said:

Quote:
I completely agree with your sentiments and am a strong advocate of promoting a creative economy, which takes in many career sectors and that attracts and retain a younger, professional core to our city.
and concluded with saying that she will continue to work towards marrying these things in our historic and modern city
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Last edited by jeddy1989; Jan 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 5:16 PM
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^^^^ It's great to see how pro-active this thread has become in such a short time. We can literally have a hand in how this city shapes itself for the future. Keep up the great work, folks!
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 5:28 PM
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Originally Posted by statbass View Post
^^^^ It's great to see how pro-active this thread has become in such a short time. We can literally have a hand in how this city shapes itself for the future. Keep up the great work, folks!
I agree!! we've skyrocketed... not too long ago we had ONE thread .. then the regional ones now a subforum where we are contacting councillors and companies regarding development...
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 5:31 PM
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And so has our city. And we're so fortunate because we're a confident, old city. If nothing else changed for us, we'd still be one of the best places in the world to live, we'd still be home. So all of our boom, all of our development, all of our hope for the future is all bonus. It's not like we're miserable now and hoping for more - we're comfortable now and welcoming more.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 5:39 PM
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This is just what the city needs. A diverse group of proactive, forward-thinking and creative individuals to combat the old, backwards-thinking and vocal minority of citizens that have seemed to stall the progression of this city for so long! Thumbs up to everyone. I will be sending my letter to council later on this evening.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 6:26 PM
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Need to catch up on some reading here. I did email Debbie Hanlon this morning though with regards to the Stelle Hotel, I got an email back minutes later and she's checking in to what is happening with the design.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 6:29 PM
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do you think any of our emails will be mentioned in the meeting tonight?
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 6:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PoscStudent View Post
Need to catch up on some reading here. I did email Debbie Hanlon this morning though with regards to the Stelle Hotel, I got an email back minutes later and she's checking in to what is happening with the design.
is there any email for their head office? :S I can't find one
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 7:04 PM
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is there any email for their head office? :S I can't find one
Don't know, I didn't email the company.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 8:33 PM
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I couldn't find an email address for Steele Hotels.

**********
This was my letter to council. I didn't really have time to edit, so forgive me if it's not very good.

Quote:
Good afternoon City Councillors!

First of all, I would like to wish a Happy New Year to all who serve on our city council. 2012 is now over and a brand new year has just begun. With a new municipal plan being drafted and a municipal election just around the corner, this is going to be a very exciting year to say the least! Election time means that Councillors views and vision for the future are very important to the voting public. I am aware that we have a great variety of opinions on council as to what direction we, as a city, should go and how we are to plan for the future. I am writing to you to express my future vision for the downtown regarding development vs. heritage. From talking to friends and family in recent days, I feel that many of the people I know share a very similar opinion to me. It's all about the age old battle of heritage vs. development!

Heritage is our identity. It is what makes us unique from so many other cities of similar (or much greater) size throughout North America. It is a vital part of who we are. People do not travel from far and wide to see Atlantic Place or the Fortis Building. People travel here to experience our immersive heritage experience. Be it a walk through our row-house district or shopping in the picturesque commercial district of water street. I do realize that our heritage is important, and so I believe we should do what we can to preserve the uniqueness that is the east end of downtown St. John's. Developments in the "east end" (I would call that anywhere east of Waldegrave St.) should reflect or have some representation of our heritage. For example, the new Star of the Sea condo project. It is a beautiful project that reflects our heritage while also being modern and adding population density, a vital part of any urban center, to our downtown core.

That being said, I am a very pro-development person. We are in the midst of a "boom" here in St. John's. The population is growing rapidly and the age old topic of development and highrises is surfacing once more, which really excites me! Many today seem to think that we can only have heritage or development and must choose between the two. That is most certainly not the case. Most of our Heritage is condensed in the east end of downtown. The west end, In my mind, is an untapped goldmine. Once you get past waldegrave street, there is virtually nothing that I would consider Heritage. There are a few run down houses, a few fields and generally gritty and unattractive non-heritage structures (except for the Newman Wine Vaults.) With buildings such as The Delta, the Cabot Complex, Fortis Place, 351, and the Deacon Building, the area should not be considered heritage, nor should it be held captive under the same laws as land in the east end is. The west end our central business district and I believe that an area should be established that does not have strict height restrictions, but rather a height minimum. For heritage protectioners, the west end should be their saving grace. We have land to build on without destroying valuable heritage properties. I will mention one project in particular. The developers of the proposed Hilton Hotel on New Gower were asked to redesign the building so that it reflects our heritage. It is surrounded by modern buildings in what should be our modern district. It should not have to look heritage when nothing around it is heritage nor should blank walls be force into the design for the sake of neighbouring residents. We cannot preserve all personal views if we are to move forward as a city. Taller buildings and density come with a larger population and we need to have an area downtown exempt from heritage restrictions and selfish issues such as "it blocks my view". I don't believe anyone's personal view from their front window should block a city from progressing.

Another area in which I believe it is okay for taller development is along harbour drive. The street is industrial and there is no reason why a development should be turned away simply for being tall. As long as the tallest portion of the development is set back from Water Street and has some sort of heritage facade, I see absolutely no problem with it as such a project would increase density making Water Street even more vibrant. But that is a personal just a personal opinion. For example, the ugly parking lot next to the Fortis Building or, i don't know, if a developer was to propose a massive redevelopment of the Bowrings Site..... I would be all for it!

Population growth and development go hand in hand. Our heritage is vitally important to preserve while development is necessary to truly progress and draw more people here, especially young people, and create a vibrant urban center. It is all about a proper balance between the two. Turning down a development simply because of it's height or because it is modern is unacceptable. Bulldozing water street and our rowhouse district for generic condo and office developments is equally unacceptable. That is why I believe this next municipal plan is so important in deciding our future. We need to increase density and draw more buisness to the downtown. Many people I know, as well as myself, believe the west end and undeveloped/under-developed parts of Harbour Drive are the way to go for future development.

I do not mean to imply that the current council has done a bad job. The approval of some of the best projects in decades such as Fortis Place, 351 Water Street or the Henry Bell Development are very great! Most people I talk to say they will be voting for those who express a pro-development attitude in the upcoming election. I look forward to hearing back from some of you regarding your opinions on future development in this city. To those running in the upcoming election, I wish you good luck! to those who aren't, thank you for your service on council! I have a feeling that 2013 will be a very exciting year for development here in the city and I hope council will continue to support developments that will so obviously benefit our downtown greatly!

Thank you so much for your time
- Matt
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 8:44 PM
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Fantastic letter. And we all come up with similar points, no matter where we fall on the development-to-heritage sliding scale.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 9:10 PM
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ok guys we should make a page on facebook advocating the creation of a height exempt business district in St. John's ... I promise many many people will jump on board .. something like that will give support and help outweigh the rubber boot crowd. I can get it started but I want some others to be admin so I don't have to monitor and add to it all by myself. let me know if you want to, you can do it here or PM me lets make a difference!!


edit: I don't know if you guys remember how Happy city started? it was originally an anti fortis proposal page which later changed into what it is today. We CAN make a difference and there needs to be some balance to this .. happy city is great but it's too broad, we need an organization for exactly what we do, development and to be development focused
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 10:09 PM
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looks like its time for me to do up a letter as well and send it off.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 10:25 PM
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This is what I see as a start to the CBD with height minimums or at least height restriction exempt. Also for ti to all be rezones as commercial-mixed use.

This is a good compromise IMO with the possibility to extend further to the west or up the hill .. or case by case on harbor drive (however those other cases may be controversial so this is a good starting point)


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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jeddy1989 View Post
This is what I see as a start to the CBD with height minimums or at least height restriction exempt. Also for ti to all be rezones as commercial-mixed use.

This is a good compromise IMO with the possibility to extend further to the west or up the hill .. or case by case on harbor drive (however those other cases may be controversial so this is a good starting point)




That's actually not that bad but only if you include every building in that area.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 10:31 PM
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That's actually not that bad but only if you include every building in that area.
that's what I mean .. this wouldn't mean a site here and there .. it's this area except some key buildings indicated in red or simply left outside the yellow zone
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 10:35 PM
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that's what I mean .. this wouldn't mean a site here and there .. it's this area except some key buildings indicated in red or simply left outside the yellow zone
but then by having those 2 buildings made special.......you know damn well they will start to want the ones around it kept the same way.

If there is an area to be no height restrictions or very minimal it has to include all buildings so no more damn piece meal decisions can be made.

And on that note....I am off to watch Mrs. Brown's Boys then some Downton Abbey!
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 10:37 PM
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but then by having those 2 buildings made special.......you know damn well they will start to want the ones around it kept the same way.

If there is an area to be no height restrictions or very minimal it has to include all buildings so no more damn piece meal decisions can be made.
did you look at the buildings lol one is a church and the other ones are next to abandoned falling down row houses
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