Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I've been reading Nicholas Pescod's front page story “Council sends dealership to public hearing” from the Feb 28 Nanaimo New Bulletin. I can’t find the url thru the Bulletin website so can’t share. I have a number of problems with the issue and equally the process.
My main concern is I don’t know why Council have found this so difficult and complex. Allowing this so much oxygen right now seems to indicate poor judgement. This is a rezoning application for a use not currently allowed, a car lot on the Long Lake Nursery site. Staff are opposed.
The agenda for the Feb 25 Council meeting here: https://pub-nanaimo.escribemeetings.com/FileStream.ashx?DocumentId=22224. Staff Report starts on page 216.
Background : Staff requested in September that the Mayor McKay Council deny the application. They did not and directed Staff to proceed with the process which Staff have now done and remain opposed.

Seems pretty straightforward. It would take an application that contributed so much to the greater public good that overruling staff and the OCP here would be the right thing to do. Some Councillors apparently see in this proposal such a contribution.
If an economic argument was to have merit, I suggest it would not be in an already over-built sector, automobile sales. That said, this sector has played an important role n the local economy. We’ve become a regional source for buying and servicing new and used cars. But is this the vision for our future seen by our 2019 Council? We can only hope not.
I’ve gotta think Mayor Krog wants this quote back. "Living here long as I have, that would probably be one of the last places I would want to occupy a for-rental accommodation or residential accommodation...” @domabassi @NanaimoNewsNOW https://nanaimonewsnow.com/article/609653/car-dealership-proposal-moves-public-hearing-despite-serious-concerns-over-location
In tone it’s close to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson's recent wacky comments about renters. But seriously, neither the length of time the Mayor has lived in Nanaimo or his personal choices of housing options are relevant in the discussion at hand.
While I’m having at the Mayor a little… The proponent’s presentation, by Mark Holland, its lecturing tone, and the hall packed with “supporters” amounted to a kind of old school macho bullying. Disrespectful to both staff and Council. Holland's comment that staff’s position was "unattractive” should have been ruled by Mayor Krog as out of order.

Staff presentation and delegations: video starts at 1:00:46 https://pub-nanaimo.escribemeetings.com/Players/ISIStandAlonePlayer.aspx?ClientId=nanaimo&FileName=Main%20Council%20Encoder_Regular%20Council%20Meeting_2019-02-25-09-58.mp4

End of the day this is another slab commercial construction surrounded by asphalt on the highway. Time for Council to set Nanaimo on a new direction. That’s what we elected them to do. Change is always hard, it takes courage. Deny the application.

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