© Carter Haydu
Bill Babey, vice president and broker at Colliers International, unveils an image of the future shopping centre during the Civic Centre Plaza project announcement in front of the Civic Centre on Tuesday morning.
Development is generally healthy for a city. In order for a city to grow, new businesses, venues and homes must be built. Of course all of these practices must cohere with city guidelines and servicing agreements.
But in order to avoid a city becoming stagnant, growth is a requirement.
Unless, for whatever reason, a specific growth isn’t deemed suitable for the city, we should be supportive of developers wishing to invest in the city.
On Monday night, council gave final approval on the proposed subdivision for the development of the Civic Centre Plaza on the former Civic Centre site by the Town ‘n’ Country Mall. Councillors also clarified a previous decision to pay $120,000 to the developers for the construction of a north-south storm sewer line as part of the settlement agreement with the city.
We don’t know all of the details behind the settlement agreement as most of it was discussed in executive committee with doors closed to the public. It has been disclosed as a confidential legal matter.
Several councillors have stated in the past that the city would have “potential liabilities” without paying the sum.
There was no discussion at Monday’s meeting before both were approved and no requested re-votes. At the Aug. 6 meeting there was extended discussion and mixed views on the issue before it was sent back to executive committee for further and private discussion. Until the items were approved construction on the plaza couldn’t begin.
Varying viewpoints and opposing sides are required in discussions of city council. Both councillors and the public deserve to know different sides in a debate and before making a decision, it’s prudent that councillors be as informed as possible and consider all options.
But what’s also needed is a balance. You need to know when enough is enough and it’s time to stop discussions and make a decision. Otherwise it’s hard to get things done. City council successfully found a balance on Monday. Councillors had their discussions. After sharing their views at length and sitting on the issue for quite some time, it was certainly the right time to make a decision to let construction get underway within this season.
Whatever issues there were had been worked out. Of course, not all were unanimous in opinion, but that isn’t expected. Diversity is needed.
Now the Civic Centre Plaza site can stop staying a level, empty piece of land where the Civic Centre stood for many years until it was demolished about a year ago. Civic Centre Plaza Inc. purchased the land to develop a strip mall, some issues arose and now they have been settled for the time being.
Let’s hope our city council can find the right balance when dealing with other issues and matters in this city.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.