The Year in Review
It’s the start of a brand new publishing year for our little local paper and a good opportunity to take stock of where we’ve been recently and, most excitingly, give an idea of where we are going in the near future.
The last few years have had stretches that are just a blur of highly demanding and involved activity. We`ve had some big successes and some disappointments, mostly with things we just have not had the extra time and manpower to accomplish. The biggest of these has been the inability to create the integrated block level organization and communication strategy that we have been keenly interested in for the last several years. But now with the skills, new energy, and extra manpower that Mike and Meredith are bringing this will be one of the most exciting things happening in the neighbourhood in 2012. Please read Meredith’s article on page four and consider giving a little bit of your time and energy to help.
We had a big victory on another League-led planning issue in mid-January in having the Development Permit cancelled for the conversion of the carwash/auto-repair building on 111 Avenue into a bottle depot. Thanks to everyone who took time and effort to help out with this. Unfortunately, at the time of writing we still have not clarified how and why the permit was cancelled. So, we will call this a conditional win as we wait to find out if this issue will be back or not. Please check our website for new information (mccauley.info).
The last few years have had stretches that are just a blur of highly demanding and involved activity. We`ve had some big successes and some disappointments, mostly with things we just have not had the extra time and manpower to accomplish.
Near the end of January our ongoing legal cases involving Excel Society Grand Manor Expansion (Corner of 97 Street and 107A Avenue) and Ambrose Place (106 Avenue between 96 and 97 Streets) will be in court. This will be the actual appeal hearing for the multiple zoning issues we identify with the Grand Manor project. The Ambrose Place court appearance will be an attempt to halt construction while awaiting the Court of Queens appeal hearing. Regardless of the outcome of these cases, our activity and efforts have resulted in a noticeable change in accountability and policy in the City’s approach to zoning, planning, and housing issues.
Also potentially moving towards a positive conclusion is the League’s work on pushing the City and Province towards a responsible and sustainable housing policy. When we started this process, no one clearly knew what the situation was and there was complete denial in the industry and administration that a problem existed. Through diligent research, outreach, and lobbying we have not only had this issue acknowledged, but have hints that useful City policy is in the works.
The new rink building is the culmination of a multi-year process that the League and several of our community partners have been involved in. We’re excited to finally have this in place and hope everyone will get a chance to stop by and see it in action at the big Family Day event on February 20.
Moving forward this year we will be focusing on communication, membership, and expansion with Block to Block being a huge part of this. The 97 street gateway into the neighbourhood will figure prominently as will creating positive neighbourhood outcomes from the Downtown Arena project. We continue to build collaborative bridges with our neighbour leagues and business communities, and push for shared and pro-active planning. It’s going to be an exciting year!