A secret negotiation between city lawyers and a self-storage developer came to an abrupt halt after a citizens' group opposing the facility’s development discovered information about the deal.
In February, a planning committee unanimously turned down a proposal to develop a self-storage facility in Dundas, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, due to public opposition which included 70 personal letters and more than 1,500 petition letters. The proposed site for the 5-acre facility is on environmentally sensitive lands. The citizens would like the area to become part of an urban eco-park.
The land is currently zoned for restaurants and commercial-recreational use. Developing self-storage would require a change to industrial use.
The developer, First Dundas Leasing Ltd., then appealed the council’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. The city’s lawyer, Michael Kovacevic, was working on a settlement agreement between the city and the company. It was discussed by the planning committee and city council in closed sessions on at least four occasions.
However, a citizens' group opposing the development, Protect Our Dundas (POD), was unaware of the closed sessions. POD claims they were not included in the discussions with the proponent and only found out about the possible deal at the last minute.
The planning committee will meet Jan. 11 to make a final decision.
Source: View Magazine, Self-Storage Deal Squashed