Wednesday, July 14
REGINA PLANNING COMMISSION (4 pm): Considering an application to build an apartment block at 1129 15th Ave. This will be going up on a lot on Montreal St next to a cool little retail strip which includes Hemp Haven. There are also two retail-looking buildings just to the north that, based off Google Street View (I haven’t been down this far on 15th, ever), seem to have been repurposed for something (like, maybe, residential, even). Anyway, the apartment looks pretty nice in the plans and the added residents in the neighbourhood could revitalize the retail thereabouts. Sounds like a great idea so naturally, current residents are writing in to say… oh for crying out loud… they’re complaining about the effect of the apartment on on-street parking.

How much frickin’ time is wasted at city hall puttering about on parking issues?

You know… I’m thinking, all this municipal brainpower exerted on the accommodation and facilitation of parking has to be counted as yet another hidden subsidy for the auto industry. And I’m starting to begrudge having to spend minutes of my life every week reading the endless paragraphs on the subject that turn up in every frickin’ city hall report.

Here’s the deal: just because you can afford to buy a car (or three) does not mean you have a Crown-protected right to park it any old place you please. Maybe if parking is becoming a problem it’s because we need a few fewer cars and not more fucking parking!

Grrr…… Look, kid had me up before dawn today. I do not need to be provoked by people’s goddamn parking troubles.

Next up, a restaurant wants to open in a vacant commercial space at 917 11th Ave. That’s just down the street from the Ukrainian Co-Op. It’s a neighbourhood I really dig and I’m always happy to see a new restaurant open in the city. I’m hoping it’ll be Laotian, but hey, even another bacon and eggs joint will be fine by me.

But wait, what’s this? The Heritage Community Association won’t support the application because there isn’t enough on-site parking. The hell?? Apparently the HCA must like vacant retail space staying vacant because how else are they going to promote their neighbourhood’s sketchy, crime-ridden charm?

Was this morning’s RPC agenda frickin’ designed to irritate me?

Other concerns about the restaurant relate to it serving alcohol and that causing increased delinquent behaviour. The applicant though asserts they’ve no intention of getting a liquor license, and if they change their minds they’ll have to go through another application process downtown, so it seems liquor shouldn’t be a reason to hold up this restaurant.

Next! A four-storey office block at 1827 Albert Street. This is that hideous vacant lot just north of the Rising Sun Tattoo Parlour. (For the record: I have some issues with tattoo parlours taking over so much of our retail space these days — it’s because I’m square, you see. But Rising Sun has such a mind-blowingly AWESOME sign, I think it deserves love and some kind of award.)

Parking for this office block will be underground (good!) and it will be built so it can be easily converted to have street-level retail once residential density in the core makes such use viable (as demanded by the new, but not-yet-law-of-the-land Downtown Neighbourhood Plan). In fact, this whole proposal seems to be very much in the spirit of the DNP. And it’ll mean development overtop of a vacant lot. And you know what? If they stick to the plan in the report, it won’t even ben the ugliest building I’ve ever seen. So, yay! How could anyone not love this plan?

Well, three nearby property owners are worried about what it’ll do to parking in the area.

Goddamn parking. From now on, let’s just take it as read that when I’m writing about a good idea for some development in the city, somebody has written in pissed about how it’ll wreck parking for them.

Wrapping up, also on the agenda are proposals for an office building at 1940 Prince of Wales Drive, for 116 townhouses in the Lakeridge Addition, and for a road reconfiguration in the Eastgate Subdivision.

And that’s it.

As always, if you want to read more about your fellow citizens’ parking woes and get more details about how your city hall is protecting your parking rights, you can go to the city’s website.