Originally Posted by Andy6
It looks fine to me. What exactly is anyone expecting? I'm sure people will be happy there.
The problem is that it won't be very pleasant to walk near this development.
A few blocks away from this area there's another neighbourhood with a mix of old storefront shops and newer mixed-use condos. That neighbourhood is dramatically more expensive and more desirable than this one.
I think the surface parking is a "tragedy of the commons" type of situation. Businesses and residents like the convenience of surface parking for themselves, but a large percentage of people also prefer neighbourhoods with characteristics that are incompatible with lots of parking (lots of amenities, quieter streets, greenspace, etc.). It's exactly the sort of situation where a city planning department should step in. In this particular case it also makes sense for the city to step in to correct some planning mistakes they made in the past (wide roads with poor sidewalks, buildings had excessive parking and setback requirements, rmixed-use buildings were not permitted, ...).