Monday, March 12, 2007

Rules make obstacles for the wrong people

According to the London Free Press, residents fighting a proposed five-storey office building on undeveloped privately-owned land at the southwest corner of Riverside Drive and Wonderland Road are facing two obstacles: "[r]ules and bureaucrats who favour development."

At first glance, the Free Press would seem to have omitted the most glaring obstacle: they don't own the land! But the Free Press is correct to have left it out — ordinarily fundamental considerations are trivial next to rules, bureaucrats and politics in London.

The rules favour developers because they don’t always prohibit building near waterways, says Monica Jarabek, chairperson of the Oakridge Riverside Community Association.
Incomplete and arbitrary prohibitions favour developers? Bearing in mind that the developer is the owner of the property, over whom are they so "favoured?" By implication, the answer can only be: people who don't own the property. In practise, because this can mean anyone at all, it means that political cliques can take over the claim to represent them at no cost and little scrutiny. Rules, it must be recalled, were once made to protect people's property from such interference — now they are made to oblige interference. The man who wants to use his property for his own profit faces far more obstacles than his detractors.

One must suppose, according to Jarabek's logic, that only total prohibition of property rights would be fair. With friends like rules and bureaucrats, who needs enemies?


Jake said...

According to Sifton Properties, a company who has only built 25% of the residential dwelling in all of London, the land in question is not on the 250 year flood zone. There is already a small house on this property. If this land were at a risk for flooding, they wouldn't let anyone build on it at all. Jarabek and her fellow activists are simply using this flood zone argument as a red herring.

The city has had plenty of opportunities to purchase this land over a 30 year period but expressed no interest whatsoever. Of course, as soon as a developer comes along to make legitimate use of their own property, then the city starts to intervene.

With the addition of new leftist councilors/controller last year, however, the balance has shifted towards an activist, anti-growth policy that is already showing signs of fruition. They are adamant on dictating where and how development should occur.

If the city keeps continuing with their developer witch hunt, companies like Sifton will simply move new development outside the city limits to avoid the bureaucracy and political activism here. Once our assessment base vaporised and our taxes get even higher, the damage will be done.

Honey Pot said...

I myself think it would be a great place for one of those new-fangled safe injection sites. They should Just IMAGINE how nice that would be for the junkies, beautiful spot. They could kill two birds with one stone. They could ensure that any business nearby would move out, and the threat of any new business moving in would never happen.

The high and low of it is they just don't want anyone building anything on that land because it would take away from what they consider their own personal green space.

You have a choice build within, up, or out. The tree-hugging, leaf-eating, new puritans seem to object to any of the above. It is their contribution to population control for Prophet Suzuki no doubt.