Comment 15739

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted December 16, 2007 at 16:42:42

I'm not talking about driving businesses away. I'm talking about the city coming up with a plan and sticking to it. There is nothing like turning developers off by having wishy washy policies that you don't adhere to, and creating an environment where things don't get done. The city made a good decision regarding the innovation park zoning, and I'm certain McMaster would like to have their MIP be part of an entire area of research facilities, not an island stuck between big box development and a highway. If the zoning gets changed, it sends a clear message to developers that Hamilton does not intend to stick with their plans, so developers will shy away because they can't be certain who their neighbours will be despite existing zoning.

Regarding the downtown transit terminals, the Hunter GO station was developed under a concept that included future expansion. If we change our minds and start to build multiple terminals in different areas, it will send a clear message to developers that none of these transit stops might ever be long term investments in the eyes of the city. Would you open a business near the train station if you know that it could actually move 10 blocks down the road within the next 5 years? And once there are two or three, which one do you bank all of your investment money on? These kind of wishy washy half-measures make investors timid.

Regarding buses, Light rail is an economic driver and buses simply are not. This capital money is coming from the province. This is a one shot deal. So we can spend the money on buses which will cost much more to operate, will have a much shorter life, and will not drive any investment... costing all of us in future taxes. Or we can aim for building rail which is cheaper to operate, lasts much longer, and results in billions in investment along the rail line.

You can call me "anti development" if you like, but if you do, you are missing my points entirely. I've tried to be as clear as I can. It is time that we set out a vision for the future of Hamilton and STUCK TO IT. This is the only way we will convince developers that we are worth their investment money. And then we will see that we get the highs, lows and in betweens that you are looking for. If we continue to pander only to the lows, that's all we'll ever get.

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