Sympathy for the developer

That’s an odd one — the proposed Bayview development reported in the Town Crier.

It’s odd in that the developer appears to have revised his building design substantially enough that residents, who had vociferously opposed earlier versions of the project, were somewhat mollified. At least a partial victory for locals. Not exactly unheard of, but a pleasant surprise.

But what’s odder is that the project may end up at the Ontario Municipal Board anyway. Not due to any major impasse between developer and residents but because city planners want to move slowly on it and the developer’s patience seems to be wearing thin.

And frankly, we can sympathize with the developer.

To be perfectly frank though, this is not the first time.

As long as we can recall, the Town Crier has editorially been on the side of community members (while, we hope, reporting the news fairly) who have stood against the encroachment of unfettered development upon their neighbourhoods. We have also repeatedly supported calls for the abolition of the OMB, whose existence allows ruthless developers to resist attempts to curtail their grandiose schemes because they know they can always fall back on the OMB for a chance at a final reprieve.

But we have also watched as some of the more sensitive developers have tried to win support for their projects with reasonable arguments, only to be shouted down at meetings by irate citizens who seem not to want to take yes for an answer. We cannot help but feel sorry for those businessmen in those situations. Surely, not all development is wrong.

And then, when both sides seem to exercise reason and a community seems about to get the kind of development that makes sense, as in the Bayview case … well, this happens. We hope everyone involved in this mess keeps a cool head and works through the problems, so as not to jeopardize what has been accomplished.