Good for Council for being more open and transparent. They have released a confidential report dated February 16, 2010 which contains the legal opinion of the municipal solicitor regarding a demolition control bylaw.
So good for them and thanks to them.
As far as the opinion goes, well Mayor Hill did state at the January 6, 2011 meeting that Council must consider the advice of their professionals and that is correct as well.
The problem? When the "advice" of their professional lawyer/planner is this:
" ...the potential for a negative reaction and its implications for future dealings with the Highland Companies should be considered"
What the hell? Highlands does not even have a VOTE in a municipal election. As as to the statement that "future dealings" with Highlands should be considered"? IF this Council thinks for one minute that by not taking a stand will make Highlands go easy on them later, they are seriously misinformed.
Kinda like the kid that keeps giving the bully his lunch money, hoping that he will only get robbed by the bully and not beat up as well. Except whenever the hell the bully feels like beating the kid up AND taking his lunch money, well the bully just will. Why, because the kid never took a stand.
There is more:
"We don't believe.the imposition of a Demolition Control Bylaw would be particularly onerous on Highland Farms or any other ratepayer, but it may not be perceived by them in the same way"
"..it would appear the balance of the homes are not about to "disappear" overnight (MY NOTE: 30 HOMES OUT OF 36 IN 2 YEARS) and the owner's assurances to this affect can be relied upon at this time"
And of course the final WARNING:
"The representatives from Highland Company stated they would appeal any negative decision from Council to the OMB. Clearly such as expense is not going to deter the Highland Company"
Read all about it for yourself: http://melancthontownship.ca/11notices/demolition-control-by-law-jan6.pdf
I guess I am just not sure at what point Council is going to man up and take a stand?
Because if they aren't going to take a stand against something that would be entirely defendable under the provisions of meeting the growth numbers and protecting the taxbase just what in the hell are they going to take a stand on?
And if you have a solicitor/planner who are saying at every turn we can't win any of this, then maybe you need new professionals?
For a change, lets have Council be the finger and ANY development that is NOT good for the municipality be the ant.