The first Pre-hearing Conference was held on September 28, 017, during which a number of Parties and Participants were identified and registered by the OMB. As importantly Plazacorp, the developer, asked for Mediation but did not request an alternative date for a Contested Hearing, should Mediation fail. BWVRA has interpreted this as positive sign, that the applicant would like to expedite a negotiated settlement; however, with an unusually large number of five Parties being involved, and with many divergent interests to address, this is not expected to be easy.
In the mean time, through consultations with our Members and with the advice of our Lawyer and Planner, we have been preparing to be able to clearly articulate the community’s interests when further negotiations, and possibly formal OMB Mediation, take place. Negotiated settlements are usually dependent on all of the Parties narrowing down their focus to two or three key issues that matter to them most. From the perspective of BWVRA, these are as follows:
- The proposed building is much too high, bulky and out-of-scale for the location,
- Predicted shadow impacts on the adjacent neighbourhood are unacceptable
- Wind tunnelling is already a concern at street-level, and the additional impacts of the proposed building need to be understood and properly addressed.
Our next date with the OMB is the second Pre-hearing Conference scheduled for February 7, 018. Watch for further updates, before and immediately after that date, on the progress of informal negotiations that may take place, along with the scheduled date for Mediation, should this step be needed.