Took this photo today on 17 block Hamilton Street. That grass field in the background? A building used to stand there that provided affordable downtown rental accommodation for 40 plus individuals and families.

As Paul Dechene blogged about last April, City Council claimed its hands were tied when the owner applied for a demolition permit. Now, the owner has apparently applied for a permit to operate a surface parking lot on the site to help ease the desperate shortage of space in the downtown for people to house their two or three tonnes of metal, glass and plastic (ie motor vehicles) when they’re not using them.

I’m not sure what the legal status of the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan is. But for the last few years developers have supposedly been adhering to its recommendations on how to create a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant downtown. Surface parking lots were not exactly seen as desirable in that regard so council’s hands presumably won’t be as tied when it comes time to review this “development” application. I guess we’ll see.