EcDev Manager Refuses to Consider Drive-Thru Ban

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 13, 2007

A recent report by Citizens at City Hall (CATCH) casts some serious questions about how the municipal government operates. According to the report, Tim McCabe, the new manager for the department of planning and economic development (EcDev), won't even consider a ban on drive-throughs for at least a year, even, apparently, if directed to do so by council.

"I can tell you I am not in favour of the city-wide ban on drive-thrus," Tim McCabe told the planning committee yesterday. "It will have to be selective if we go at all."

He said the change would require an official plan policy preceded by a review of principles that the staff will be undertaking as part of their schedule to complete a new official plan by the spring of 2009.

McCabe was responding to a query from Brian McHattie for an update on a motion adopted by the committee in May at his urging which stated "that staff be directed to review the possibility of a City-wide prohibition on drive-thrus, through zoning or other by-laws, including the implications of such a prohibition, and to report back to committee."

But McCabe says "there is not going to be a separate report" because of the need to change the official plan. He declared that "it is the nature of business to have drive-thrus" and any further restrictions would require "policy strengths" similar to those used to support and existing ban in the downtown area.

So, just who governs this city, anyway? The elected councillors or city staff?

(Thanks to Nicholas Kevlahan for drawing my attention to this report.)

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By joejoe (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2007 at 12:13:38

Wrong on both counts Ryan - it's the developers!

The City has so many intractable processes it's ridiculous.
"We can't do violates our process" seems to be their mantra.
What's more worrying is the Dev Manager's outright refusal to comply with the request. He should (he is obliged to) be helping the coincilor work through the red tape to fulfil his request.

It's no wonder nothing ever changes in Hamilton.

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By peregrine falcon (anonymous) | Posted July 13, 2007 at 14:37:58

Bear in mind folks, McCabe was director in charge of development and real estate under former EcDev manager Lee Anne Coveyduck and was hip-deep in Larry DiIanni's fast track investment shop to cut through the 'red tape' of doing business in the city.

This is the guy who sat in the back rooms and negotiated the Lister demolition and the Maple Leaf deal -- two very smelly proposals. DiIanni likes him. Andrew Dreadful likes him. City manager Glen Peace likes him.

Should we be surprised when he favors giving developers what they want and doesn't want to submit to public oversight and input?

Joejoe's got it right. This guy is a developer's dream.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 15, 2007 at 14:46:42

the worst part is, I follow local politics and don't know who this guy is. Never heard of him or read about him. Seems our EcDev department has quit banging down the doors of department stores and other worthwhile ventures for our downtown and spends all of their time trying to open farmland for more sprawl.

EcDev needs a serious overhaul.

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By city watcher (anonymous) | Posted July 19, 2007 at 16:40:43

There's another recent CATCH report about rezoning industrial land to commercial up on the east mountain, which is directly in opposition to EcDev's stated (ad nauseam) religion - creating more 'shovel ready' land for industry (because industry creates the best paying jobs, and pays more taxes), which on the face of it is puzzling.

What I can only conclude from these examples, and the hundreds of others I've observed re Staff recommending and Council approving development is less about the individual merits or disadvantages of each proposal, or these folks being in bed with the developers.

They just can't turn down ANY proposal (unless there's a terrific outpouring of public opposition) and will find any way to justify each development as it comes along, as they are desperately chasing 'assessment growth' of ANY KIND due to the catastrophic state the city budget is in.

What's the solution to that?

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By Rrroll Up (anonymous) | Posted April 02, 2012 at 11:28:42

Last month, police in Grande Prairie, Alta., were called to a Tim Hortons when a customer in its drive-thru line pulled a gun.

The driver allegedly cut in line and brandished the weapon when confronted by another patron. Police later stopped his vehicle and found a pellet gun.

Obst said officers in Saskatoon have not responded to similar coffee-rage incidents.

“We’ve had an individual get mad and throw a bit of a temper tantrum. But as far as actual violence or actual weapons, we’re not seeing that in Saskatoon. Thank God.”

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