Development must be stopped, says a NIABY

Re: “Think about people like me when you protest developments,” Letter, November.

I am neither a NIMBY nor a YIMBY).

I am a NIABY (Not In Anyone’s Back Yard.

What has gone on at Yonge-Eglinton is not bad planning — it’s non-existent planning.

One of the redevelopment applications you seem to believe will accommodate you, the “riffraff,” is an application that involves the demolition of 110–120 Broadway Ave., three buildings within the scale of what we call “modest” rental accommodation, the kind we must preserve.

I fought alongside former councillors Anne Johnston and Kay Gardner for five years to save 790–840 Eglinton Ave. West. Out of that we got the Rental Housing Protection Act, which gave the City the power to control the demolition of rental properties of six units or more.

The Harris government took it away. Neither McGuinty nor Wynne gave that power back to the City in the way we had it.

But without the power to protect the stock of “modest” rental accommodation this will become a city of the wealthy, including wealthy “riffraff,” and of social housing tenants and panhandlers.

What of those who are not wealthy but do not quality for what little social housing is available? Do they find refuge in basement apartments?

All this to accommodate the sheer greed of the development industry and its hangers-on?

The redevelopment of 110–120 Broadway must be stopped. Period.

There has been another unexpected consequence of massive redevelopment out a blatant abuse of power by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

There is an 80-floor condo under construction at Yonge and Eglinton. Businesses on Yonge Street are being reassessed at what MPAC call “best an highest use.”

So stores on Yonge are being taxed as if they were 80-floor condos. The doctrine of “best and highest use” does not mean that a property that has not been rezoned has the value of a property that has been rezoned. It doesn’t.

Moreover, and this is what is so appalling, an MPAC property assessor is not competent to presume what City Council  or the OMB, a quasi-judicial body, may decide on any rezoning matter put before them.

The property assessors who have behaved in such a presumptuous manner should be fired.

Now if the development industry wants to go where there is no zoning, there is such city: Houston.

Bob Murphy
Eglinton Avenue East