Monday, January 24
CITY COUNCIL MEETING (5:30 pm): Lot of housing things before council tonight — which is nice, seeing as there’s a housing crisis going on.

First up, a proposed high-rise at 2300 Broad Street. Property owners to the north and south are none too happy. They point out that the building is taller than allowed under the zoning for the area and that the building doesn’t really fit the character of the neighbourhood. I don’t know. What do you think? I’ve included a pic of the proposed building with this post.

Man, I came into the p-dog office today to work and as I type they’re listening to Dead or Alive’s, “You Spin Me Right ‘Round.” If Stephen’s editorial this issue feels especially shoulder-padded and purple, now you know why.

On the down side, I think the residents are right. The building does kind of clash with its neighbours and it does exceed the area height zoning by a fair margin. At the same time, it could be worse. The building has a green roof, three townhouse-style condos on 15th and the ground level will include retail and a restaurant. And it’s round. Which is, you know, better than another concrete and glass box.

Council will also look at two affordable housing developments. The first is a low-rise apartment building at 1610 Angus. It’s a Souls Harbour Mission project and will contain 20 units intended for homeless youth. Because the units will be affordable rental, the building will qualify for support under the Housing Incentives Policy.

Later, at 1747 Montreal St, another low-rise apartment building is proposed. It will contain eight “pocket suites” — basically, small-size bachelors aimed at low-income single people. This will also qualify for tax exemptions under the city’s incentive policy. A petition has been submitted by Heritage Neighbourhood residents who oppose the project. Basically, they’re concerned about how much social housing is getting clustered in their neighbourhood and fear the development will attract unsavoury, transient types, hobos and junkies.

Well, admittedly it does suck that social housing seems to get clustered in certain neighbourhoods. It’d be nice to see some of it in, say, Harbour Landing or Wascana View. (Although, good luck catching a bus out that way.) But I still think it’s self-defeating and illogical to use the lack of housing diversity in some neighbourhoods as a rationale to try to scuttle a decent, affordable housing project in another.

Wow. Now it’s Radiohead on the p-dog boom box. If Stephen’s editorial turns out especially twee, now you know why.

Also up tonight is a condo conversion proposed for 4303 Rae St. Sound familiar to you? It should. This conversion was turned down by council back in May on the strength of some letters from tenants stating they felt bullied by their landlord about the conversion. Well, the landlord and the building’s property manager never got to see those letters until after the meeting at which their application was turned down. And when they did…. well, needless to say they felt the allegations were not only false but libelous. They took the city to court to have them re-evaluate the application and won their case.

And that’s why 4303 Rae is back before council. I should write more on this situation later — it really is pretty messed up (and maybe not in the way you think) — but for now I’ll just say I expect council will be much less opposed to this conversion now.

Also on tonight’s agenda is a request for $35,000 in funding to support a bid to host the 2014 North America Indigenous Games, a request to convert a restaurant at 302 Albert St into a nightclub, a proposal to express support for the extension of the federal government’s stimulus program funding deadline, and a proposal to rezone some land at 2315 Abbot Road to accommodate the new Arcola School.

To download the full agenda, go to the city’s website.

Hang on. That’s a lot of Radiohead in a row. This isn’t the Best Of Radiohead, is it?

Man, you guys disappoint me.