Weighing the good of the many vs. the good of the few

The recent public meeting with respect to the former Maplewood School site on Niagara St was an interesting display of the new priorities in the City’s Draft Official Plan.

On the one hand you’ve got a developer who owns some land, is trying put up affordable housing, and is following the City’s (and the Province’s) desire for greater density in residential areas.

On the other hand you’ve got local residents who don’t want their neighbourhood adding a 5-storey apartment block, but would be more than happy to have townhouses or condos brought in.

The interesting part for me was the way in which council basically ignored that part of the residents’ concerns.  Rather than investigating the townhouses proposal, they tried to find ways to make the apartment complex more appealing to the residents (and without much success, I might add).  Maybe the best solution would have been the apartment complex with the tweaks to the plan as outlined in the article – but I can’t remember more than one question from council to the developer that treated the townhouse idea as more than an after-thought.

I would imagine the local residents did not come away from the meeting with a great deal of satisfaction; least of all because council ended up pushing the approval off to another meeting.