a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Dec, 2006

Update on la Maison

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Westboro

An update for anyone following the development here: 

Awhile back I emailed our councillor, Christine Leadman about the Maison Jeanne D’Arc development. She said she’d look into the matter and try to set up a meeting with Barry Hobin, the developer. I expressed interest in sitting in on the meeting. I would like to meet Mr. Hobin and see his development plans which to date have not been released to the public.

This morning I received this email from Ms. Leadman:

“I have spoken with Mr. Hobin and he declined to have another meeting. He advised me that he had two public meetings to date. The property is under review for Heritage status and feels it would be redundant to host another meeting until the ruling comes on the property. I have spoken with staff and do not anticipate the file being considered until early to mid January.”

The fact remains that Mr. Hobin’s meetings weren’t widely advertised or known. It’s my understanding that they were only offered to the residents who live adjacent to the property, and they considered it a “presentation” and not a “consultation.” The people we spoke to attended, upset, thinking it was a done deal.
The way I see it, Westboro residents have made a certain investment into their neighborhood. In my view, Westboro residents are akin to corporate shareholders. They have a vested interest in how their community develops. Yet in these kinds of scenarios there is considerable frustration in that these resident shareholders don’t have a say. They feel they’re powerless against the city and that the city favours the developer more than the resident. The system isn’t transparent and the residents feel like they don’t have any rights. Shareholders should have some rights. Don’t you think?

Dagne and I have collected approx. 170 signatures. The city has received letters (we know of 10 or so) in support of keeping the old building. We’re submitting our petition and our letter to the city today. I just hope it doesn’t get lost on someone’s desk.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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