As Dionne Warwick once crooned:
♫ In good times, in bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
Oh, that’s what friends are for. ♫
I bet Rick Lloyd was humming the above eighties classic as he was heading home from council tonight.
If ever you wanted to see an example of out and out nepotism and cronyism look no further than tonight’s Collingwood town council meeting. I am talking of course about our fearless Deputy Mayors potential purchasers application to have his house approved as a Bed and Breakfast to grease the wheels of its sale.
There were some local residents in attendance who after it was approved were visibly and vocally pissed off. Our Mayor had to call the proceedings to order and reminded everyone that she had forwarded all the residents concerns to the planning department. If torches and pitch forks were still de rigueur I am sure a few people would be gathering at 9 Craigleith Court this evening.
Joe Gardhouse tried to do the right thing and very properly made a motion that prior to any B and B getting approved the property get site plan approval which would have things like setbacks for parking and at least would put some controls on the business in the future. Here’s how that faired:
Chadwick questions how much it would cost the applicant. Farrer said it would be about $5,000, and take a couple of months.
Chadwick says that seems to be “overly bureaucratic” and unnecessary.
Chadwick questions if it would set a precedent. Farrer says the department looks at each case individually, but if the department started looking at site plan control, it could be part of the process but she only sees B an B’s every 3 or 4 years .
Chadwick says he doesn’t want to put anything in the way of people doing this type of operation, and just adds a layer of bureaucracy. It would be an economic driver.
West says he sees no problem in a site plan approval.
Cunningham argues there are already controls in place through zoning, “To throw in more rules, I just don’t see the point of it,”
Kevin Lloyd notes he has several home-based businesses on his street, and asks if they require site plan agreements. The response is no.
Goes to vote Cooper, Lloyd, Cunningham and Chadwick vote against motion. Edwards, West, Gardhouse vote for.
Gardhouse’s motion is defeated.
Motion to allow zoning is approved 6 to 1 (Hull is away tonight and Rick Lloyd excused himself for conflict) .
♫ Keep smilin’, keep shinin’
Knowin’ you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for ♫