Sunday, June 24, 2012

Email to Mayor, Council, City GMs re
Port Place Development Permit

From: Frank Murphy
Date: June 24, 2012
Subject: Port Place Development Permit

A quick two cents worth re the Port Place Development Permit on Monday's Council Meeting agenda. You'll be aware that the residential component promised in the first application and that was the basis for Council's enthusiastic approval of that permit has been eliminated. It is now promised for some time in the future. Please remember it is well within your authority to ask for a time out here. I hope you will ask Staff and the proponent the following questions.
What alternatives have been considered and what alternatives could be brought to Council for consideration?
What approaches have worked well elsewhere. (Vancouver's Oakridge redevelopment come to mind and I would suggest you request a briefing from Director of Planning Andrew Tucker on the successes in similar circumstances of Toronto architect and planner Ken Greenberg (Walking Home).
Have downtown merchants and/or their organization the  Downtown Nanaimo Partnership been asked to advise Council on any concerns they may of the impact of this redevelopment?
Also, I hope you'll take the time before you make any decision to walk the site. Approach it from any direction and get a sense of this extraordinary property and the opportunity that exists to, of course, assist the corporate property owner achieve their business goals but at the same time accomplish other objectives: downtown revitalization, economic development, neighbourhood improvement, fully integrating the site back into a multi-use walkable street grid connected to and mutually beneficial to our established downtown core.
The opportunity to redevelop a key inner city site like this comes around once every what, twenty-five years. Please take your time.

Frank Murphy

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