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Urban planners and the environment 1: Auto dependant twats 0:

swilly

TRIBE Member
Court gives St. Clair streetcar green light
Feb. 22, 2006. 05:27 AM
VANESSA LU
CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF


The troubled St. Clair streetcar project is back on track — again.

A Divisional Court panel yesterday gave the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission the go-ahead to build the 6.7-kilometre dedicated streetcar line along St. Clair Ave. W.

In a 19-page decision, the three-member panel ruled that the city has the legal authority to build the right-of-way that would physically separate the tracks in the centre two lanes of the street with a 15-centimetre raised curb.

"It is not for this court to inquire into the issue whether the project is good planning or bad planning or somewhere in between," said the ruling. "Those are political decisions made by elected members of city council. The court's duty is confined to ensuring that the process was carried out according to rule of law."

The grassroots organization Save Our St. Clair (SOS) has spearheaded the fight to block the $65 million transit expansion project.

Last October, a three-member Divisional Court panel sided with SOS, ruling the city violated the Planning Act with the project — putting the brakes on construction that had been set to begin.

Shortly after the loss, city lawyers complained that one of the judges — Justice Ted Matlow — was biased against the city because of a long-running battle over a development project in his neighbourhood.

After hearing the city's argument, the two other judges on the original panel, Justices Susan Greer and Ellen Macdonald, ruled that while they didn't believe their decision was tainted, it should be thrown out because of the perception of possible bias. That paved the way for a second hearing in January before the new panel.

The main issue is whether the project complies with the city's official plan — and which official plan.

Although the city adopted a new official plan in 2002, portions of it have been tied up in appeals before the Ontario Municipal Board.

SOS's lawyer Eric Gillespie argued that the streetcar project did not meet the conditions under the official plan dating from 1994.

However, because of the delays between the Divisional Court hearings, the OMB approved on Jan. 25 the city's transportation policies, ensuring that the streetcar project now complies with the new official plan.

"The court appears to be saying that the project can proceed," Gillespie said. "But the official plan is only partially approved."

He also questioned the panel's decision to ignore a long-held planning principle that states rules in place when an applicant begins a project apply even if rules change. "It does raise concerns if the goalposts can be moved for a whole community," he said.

SOS's Margaret Smith said, "We are disappointed at this outcome, but not yet convinced that this fight is over."

Her group has 15 days to decide whether to appeal.

Councillor Joe Mihevc said the city is eager to get construction under way.

"The only impediment right now is old man winter," he said, noting the city would have to pay an expensive premium to begin work immediately.

Negotiations with contractors are expected over the next few months, with work not likely to begin until May. Track has been sitting in the middle of St. Clair Ave. since the summer, and only buses are running between Yonge and Bathurst stations.

Estimates suggest the legal delays have cost the city $2.7 million — $1.9 million in inflationary costs plus $800,000 in legal bills.

Elizabeth Cinello, a spokesperson for the St. Clair Right-of-Way Initiative for Public Transit, which supports the project, was delighted with the ruling.

"We're really excited. We celebrate the decision," she said.


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Thumpr

TRIBE Member
hmmpt. i thought it was over, and it's on again.

i'm not sure what Elizabeth Cinello meant by her last line there though?

;)
 

thom100

TRIBE Member
jesus the plan dates back 12 years and has cost the city 2.7 million already.

All because some fucktards don't want a street car line...SOS should be given the bill. Between this and the airport bridge, think about the cash that is wasted in red tape....
 

VinylRach

TRIBE Promoter
hi Urban Planner question. Does anyone know where to search for jobs with that title? my roomate has been working as an urban planner in australia for years and she came here and doesn't nkow where to look for a position in that field?
 
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Spinsah

TRIBE Member
The head of the anti-streetcar committe is actually an urban and enivornment planner, and when I took time to read her persepective, I found it hardly from the 'pro-auto' orientation I initially expected.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Spinsah said:
The head of the anti-streetcar committe is actually an urban and enivornment planner, and when I took time to read her persepective, I found it hardly from the 'pro-auto' orientation I initially expected.

nobody can listen to the contrary position without admitting there is one.
 

octo

TRIBE Member
VinylRach said:
hi Urban Planner question. Does anyone know where to search for jobs with that title? my roomate has been working as an urban planner in australia for years and she came here and doesn't nkow where to look for a position in that field?
not too long ago the city of Ajax was hiring urban planners
brampton too
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
I think lawyers should pay double for everything. From the McDeal to the vodka and soda, cars, plane tickets, homes you name it lawyers should have to pay double.

It would bring balance back to the force, right now its all a little dark sided
 
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man_slut

TRIBE Member
I'm a little confused... from what I can remember SOS doesn't even represent the St.Clair community. SOS is primarily represented by shop owners along St.Clair.
 

Rajio

Well-Known TRIBEr
man_slut said:
I'm a little confused... from what I can remember SOS doesn't even represent the St.Clair community. SOS is primarily represented by shop owners along St.Clair.
thats a KIND of community
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
Spinsah said:
The head of the anti-streetcar committe is actually an urban and enivornment planner, and when I took time to read her persepective, I found it hardly from the 'pro-auto' orientation I initially expected.
ed zachary.

prolonged conflicts like this are rarely so black and white. some of you numbnuts need to learn to reserve judgement until you've eductated yourself on the issues.
 

AgentSanchez

TRIBE Promoter
But ignorance is alot more fun. It means I don't have to deal with the same logical contraints that the rest of you petty mortals do when constructing arguments.
 

zorak

TRIBE Member
Klubmasta Will said:
ed zachary.

prolonged conflicts like this are rarely so black and white. some of you numbnuts need to learn to reserve judgement until you've eductated yourself on the issues.
meh, i've done quite a bit of reading on this whole thing and in my opinion, her points are generally not very strong. the ttc's plan is far from perfect but the argument against the st. clair streetcar is one shade away from shoddy.
 
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Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
I read over some of the objections that SOS had, and although some had validity to them, it was hardly reason enough to call the whole thing off.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are more important things that you could commit all your time to than crusading against the city on what is otherwise a fairly sound plan.
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
one look at spadina ave and youll notice the complicated amoutn of over design involved and the millions upon millons of dollars these projects cost beyond official government esitmates.

why do you think the store owners are against the street car lane on St. Clair? firstly they know the project will drag on and on blocking their entraces and locking up the road for potential customers.

if youve ever lived by a line where there was this kind of contruction its brutal and the scale of this project could see dealys in the years not months.

looking at the waterfront gives you an indication of what red tape does, the shop owners are left with their pants down when the digging starts. people hear about street cars and think its so great, but neglect to realize its not a downtown super high denisty locale like spadina ave, and how is it college street doesnt have this happen to it considering the rationale for its creation is much more valid on the lenght of college than st. clair.

the cost overruns in these projects will boggle the mind, and none of this even considers the increases in TTC that are going to be seen anyway over th next few years.
 

The Tesseract

TRIBE Member
VinylRach said:
hi Urban Planner question. Does anyone know where to search for jobs with that title? my roomate has been working as an urban planner in australia for years and she came here and doesn't nkow where to look for a position in that field?
workopolis / monster / jobbank.gc.ca / thestar
any where really.

I'd tell you to ask funkinbeats, but i don't think he wants any competition in his hunt. ;)

Other considerations:
Cold calling... places like JD Barnes, EarthTech
 
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