Since the PAC meeting last week, SDW has been reviewing the publicly available data on the approval for the proposed development at the corner of Sprucewood and Matchette directly behind the current raceway. You might remember that this is Jenny Coco and company, as represented by the numbered company 1223244 Ontario Ltd. After getting our hands on the meeting minutes from PAC, we discovered a couple of juicy tidbits that we thought we’d pass along to our readers.
1. First, and this one blew me away, EPAC, represented by Rob Spring at the PAC meeting, concurred with the recommendation that the land be converted to commercial space suggesting that the impact of commercial development would be less than a residential development. It is unfortunate that EPAC is willing to concede their position on this file. To their credit they did try and recommend a parkland development first although I don’t think that gives them absolution for their current position. Since when did we decide that choosing between the lesser of two evils was acceptable in this city?
2. The Town of LaSalle is opposed to this development and hired the firm Cushman & Wakefield LePage to draft a peer review of the plan. Per the meeting minutes (thanks to Kevin O’Neil for putting me on to this) for the June 26th LaSalle town council, they are ‘unanimously opposed’ to this development. That’s good news for us as this development will require partial approval from LaSalle for the changes to the transportation infrastructure it requires. (Though I think we should handle our own problems in Windsor and not rely on LaSalle to do our “dirty work”.)
3. This proposed site is actually larger than reported in the paper. Some will say, what’s another 20,000 square feet when you are already building 400,000? Given that your average main street business is about 2,000 square feet, it means another 10 businesses worth of selling space. Another 10 local merchants have their futures placed in jeopardy. For the record, 420,000 square feet of retail space are planned.
4. If anyone tries to tell you that this is simply a Commercial Centre, quote them this line: “Mr. Slopen describes the proposal to build … including restaurants, shops and larger big-box type stores.” Later on he concedes that a Loblaw Supercentre is planned for this space. Hey, if their lawyer said it, it must be true!
5. Mr. Slopen, a lawyer for the applicant from the law firm Miller Canfield, makes repeated attempts to coerce PAC into accepting the amendments to Recommendation IV which include removing the requirement for an Environmental Assessment. ‘Why?’ you ask. In his own words -- “the Class Environmental Assessment could slow down the process…and in [my] opinion; there is no reason to carry out this assessment.”
Alas, Mr. Slopen and the applicant succeeded in getting this amendment approved by PAC.
FYI – here is how PAC members voted. (Looks like the fight is on with our PAC sitting city councilors as all voted in favour of the project!)
For: Councilors Hatfield, Postma and Dilkens, Mr. Asmar and Mr. Baker
Against: Ms. Growe-Zdyb, Ms. Cross-Leal and Ms. Willis-More
Write your councilors and let them know that you do not want businesses in Windsor that want to detour around the EA process. We want good corporate citizens in Windsor, who care about the people and the environment of our city. Remember, this is scheduled to go before council on October 29, so time is short to get the word out to your representatives!
PS: Look for more on this topic from SDW in the coming weeks!