tells us that Onni has pulled their application to redevelop the Safeway site on Lonsdale.
Surely there will be much rejoicing among the mysterious membership of North Van City Voices, but I think the last word belongs to Onni president Rossano De Cotiis:
“We have done everything in accordance with City rezoning policies and
have essentially arrived at where we started two years ago.”
And, in looking at the documents posted on the City web site, it looks like that's the case. Onni proposed a project, took suggestions and complaints, and came back with another, smaller version. They did the public outreach required, they appeared where they had to. They played by the rules.
And yes, making donations to politicians is playing by the rules.
If Onni walks away - admittedly unlikely given how much money is already invested - upper Lonsdale will be left with a run-down Safeway store and... oh right - the junk shop is gone now.
That kind of property needs a significant sized development. It's a big important property, and sooner or later will require a large developer to do something with it. You can debate how large, but at the end of the day a lot of developers will stay away of they can't know ahead of time what the rules will be. No-one will put up the millions of dollars required to prepare a project like this if they think that their investment could be lost at the whim of a mercurial city council.
Without those big-ticket investors that site is likely going to wind up filled with yet another two story strip-mall filled with vacuum cleaner stores and health food outlets. There's nothing wrong with those, but it hardly qualifies as demonstrating the kind of vision that builds great - or even nice - cities.