Comment 17104

By statius (registered) | Posted January 11, 2008 at 20:52:14

"5. Enforce property maintenance laws. Businesses that have a real stake in the downtown will abide by them, those who won't can be pushed to sell to others who do. We only want committed business people downtown anyway."

This should be done. The penalties for non-compliance ($50000 to $100000 for corporations and personal liability for their officers) are surely enough to impel all but the most deep-pocketed to fall in line. As for enforcing such a by-law against an organization like LIUNA - this would probably be much less productive ... and the city is clearly trepidatious about alienating a major developer (perhaps the only major developer right now) working (or at least making pretenses of doing so) in the downtown core. Perhaps it should change its mind on this one.

As for the strip clubs and adult theatres, such business are always attracted to low rent areas. They are bottom-feeding industries which never stick around when the property prices go up. As long as other developers and business people can be enticed to invest downtown in spite of them, they won't pose much of a problem in the long term.

As for light rail, I too was initially skeptical about its potential concrete benefits to Hamilton's beleaguered public transit system. However, when you think about the environmental impact of buses versus a quiet electric rail system (I don't just mean in terms of emissions), the increased ridership potential (thus hopefully displacing some of that car usage you refer to above), etc. it is hard not to see light rail as something markedly desirable for the city. If anything, its greatest benefit may be upon the image of Hamilton over anything else.

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