Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
10:36 PM EDT
2014-01-20 at 21:21

Going ahead

Don Manahan
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Don Manahan
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

A proposed four-plex is cause for concern to some neighbours on the city's north side.

The irregularly shaped lot on the corner of Valley Street and Hutton Park Drive was originally zoned multi-residential until 2009 when the owner asked for it to be zoned for a single home. But after several years without selling, they asked the city to rezone the lot in order to build a four-plex complete with seven parking spaces.

Don Manahan, who represents the developer, said that the building would have a lot of landscaping and the materials used would fit in with the neighbourhood.

But neighbours disagreed.

J.P. Prinsloo said he wouldn't have bought his home if he had known that a rental property would go next door, leaving him without the ability to know his neighbours. He called it a safety concern.

"Renters aren't safe?" Coun. Andrew Foulds asked.

"Well they come and go," Prinsloo said.

Another neighbour, Caroline LaBelle, said she moved to the neighbourhood to get away from living near rental properties. From increased traffic to substance abuse, she said the apartment building would be an eyesore to the area. Currently it has a "better class of neighbours," which is why she moved there in 2011.

Coun. Trevor Giertuga, the only councillor to oppose the project going forward, said since the lot was rezoned for a single home in 2009, it's reasonable that people who bought land in the area assumed that's what the lot would eventually be.

"Their expectation was that it was going to be nine single family homes there," he said.

City development manager Mark Smith said it's a mistake for people to assume what any property near them, especially a vacant lot, will be.

"At anytime anybody can propose to change the zoning bylaw," Smith said.

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Concerned lady says:
I have never felt compelled to write a comment before. To me everyone has missed the bigger issue - that our city development manager stated people make a terrible mistake assuming that zoning won't change on properties near them. I well aware that people do apply for zoning changes, but I always thought that we had a process in which that is able to happen. Whereby interested parties are allowed to voice their concern with a proposed amendment. It seems like money is the only thing that talks in this city. If it means the city can get their hands on more taxes then the developer will get the go ahead every time!
1/21/2014 9:10:52 PM
tbfriend says:
DrDoLittle/MD - in response
There is a true cost to providing housing that meets fire code. Each one of my doors cost $1,000 - they are fire rated. I have a sprinkler system and fire extinguishers that are maintained and updated as code requires. I do have a nice building - I keep it up to date, meet all requirements and pay hefty land tax. I've been doing this a long time - to be honest I refuse to stoop to lowering rent to what these wannabe basement landlords charge - and I refuse to rent to people I'm not comfortable renting to. My units are fairly priced, well maintained and most importantly - LEGAL. Just because you watch HGTV and decide you can be a landlord too and make a rental suite in your basement to pay off your mortgage faster doesn't mean I have to compromise. I've seen basement landlords come and go over the years - and tenants who rent in mold infested basements off of unprofessional landlords always come back. This is a cycle. Enjoy being a landlord! lol
1/21/2014 5:41:12 PM
tbay99 says:
I am 100% OK with these renal properties as long as they're maintained/landscaped and built well. If anyone has ever driven down Hutton Park to see the complete dumps of rental units that exist now maybe you would see the concern.
1/21/2014 9:46:11 AM
S Duncan says:
Renters have no investment in their property. They don't pay taxes directly and they never see a tax bill and remain isolated from the true reality of being a contributor to this city.

There is pride of ownership that comes with owning a home. Renters do not know that feeling. They don't cut and manicure their lawns. They don't paint fences. They don't care about oil spots on their driveway, etc..

Renters are just visitors.
1/21/2014 9:23:29 AM
animiki says:
I see that the good citizens Prinsloo & LaBelle aren't the only ones willing to paint the whole canvas one color. So what you're saying is that no renter, anywhere, takes pride in the appearance of their home (because, rented or not, it is their home) or is concerned about how they're perceived as neighbors? Not one? Because if you can concede that there is even one such renter, somewhere, then your absolute, blanket statement becomes a little bit invalid. And with every additional such renter, it becomes a little more invalid. So, again--you're standing by your contention that not a single renter anywhere is a good housekeeper and neighbor?
1/21/2014 10:39:10 AM
conker2012 says:
Those problems are landlord related. Renters are not responsible for lawn care or painting fences unless it is written into the lease agreement and agreed by both parties. Multi-unit rental properties also pay 2.5 times the tax rate of a single family home. The more rental properties the lower our individual taxes become.

The real problem as tbfriend mentioned above is the illegal rentals avoiding the property tax increase. The revenue office needs to be looking at all apartment rental adds and validating if the address is zoned for multiple units and they are paying the appropriate taxes.
1/21/2014 11:39:33 AM
HelenaHandbasket says:
That is a horrible comment S Duncan and you should be ashamed of yourself! So according to you, a person who doesnt own their home is nothing more than a third rate citizen? Not like it is any of your business but do you ever ask why someone may not own their own home? First are formost, have you looked at the MLS listings lately? The pricing of housing is through the roof! People are paying $170,000 for a 2 bedroom home in the East End these days (nothing wrong with the East End before someone jumps on me, this is actually where my house is. Some people simply can not afford to be buying homes at that price. What about people who are on ODSP and can barely make rent in a geared to income property? Or how about a person who is just starting out in life making base entry salary? There are many reasons that people dont own their own home these days, and to be judged and called "visitors" in a city they were born and raised in, is deplorable and I feel you owe a lot of people an apology!
1/21/2014 11:58:55 AM
cachinnate says:
“They don't pay taxes directly … never see a tax bill and remain isolated from … being a contributor to this city.” ? False. Renters pay to the landlord, who then pays the property tax to the city. In fact, a multi-residential unit incurs higher taxes than a single dwelling unit, increasing the tax revenue from the property.
“There is pride of ownership that comes with owning a home.” ? Irrelevant. People rent for many reasons, ie just starting out, retired etc. I know several people who rent, because due to age cannot maintain a property in its entirety. Yet, the living space in which they are responsible for is immaculate.
“They don't cut and manicure their lawns. They don't paint fences...” ? Maybe they don’t want the responsibility of maintaining lawns, fences etc. There are some professionals whose lifestyle is such that they prefer the freedom of those duties.
“They don't care about oil spots on their driveway, etc.” ? that can happen to anybody.
1/21/2014 12:29:23 PM
Mazda323 says:
Sorry, you are wrong. I have lived in my current apartment for seven years. I've taken on the responsibility of re painting it, because I want it to look nice. I've taken on the responsibility of minor repairs because it's worth it to me. In return, my landlord is fair and doesn't try to gouge me, just because he can. This is my home, I don't "just visit".

It's attitudes like yours that paint all renters with the same brush
1/21/2014 1:07:25 PM
JubJub says:
I can easily find hundreds of home owners in this city that have no pride in their property. I can also find hundreds of renters (including myself in the past) that takes pride in their property and spends their own money to keep the maintenance up and the property looking nice. Many renters are future home owners not visitors.
1/21/2014 2:50:42 PM
Clobbering Time says:
This is a great idea!!
1/21/2014 9:18:19 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
"from increased traffic to substance abuse"

Caroline LaBelle needs to rethink a few things.
A person who rents has the landlord snooping around every few months, if not every month, while someone who owns a house can get away with so much more without a snooping landlord!
Just because you own a house, does not mean your life is perfect & you have no vices!
Stop stereotyping people because of what they have or don't have!
The problem is the way LaBelle looks at things around her! A shame.
1/21/2014 9:02:37 AM
unknowncronik says:
Seems all that's needed in this neighborhood is Prinsloo & LaBelle growing up a bit & stop being so snooty.
1/21/2014 8:55:02 AM
keiths31 says:
Wow. Brutal. Nothing like painting all renters with the same brush. Guess young people just starting out can't live the 'nice' area of the city.
1/21/2014 8:37:14 AM
grs says:
If these people are so terrified of living near rental properties then why are they living where they are now? Just 100 metres down valley street you have a huge rental complex on one side of the street and on the other you have a couple 4 or 6 plexes that have been there for years.
1/21/2014 8:32:02 AM
DRL1979 says:
WOW. What a couple of beauties. I can't believe the attitudes of some people in this city. It's wonder the rest of Ontario thinks we are a bunch of hicks up here in the north.
1/21/2014 8:11:28 AM
tadzup says:
There are already apartments on Hutton Park. The string of four-plexes near Woodcrest school.

I assume this new one will be nicer (probably more like the one on Valley/Strand) so what's the problem?
1/21/2014 7:49:48 AM
silent rebel says:
Move then. I doubt the neighbours would miss you.
1/21/2014 7:44:56 AM
tbfriend says:
Maybe city hall should look at what is happening in the rental market. Sure, CMHC says that vacancy is at 2% - but that only counts for 3 unit or higher dwellings. Every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to be a landlord - everyone is fixing basement apartments to rent. In the last year there have been a few hundred non-permit/illegal basement apartments built by wannabe landlords. Maybe the city should clamp down on this and collect additional land tax for these houses and enforce the same dwelling codes legitimate landlords abide by. I've been a landlord for 22 years - and sure the last 3 years have been great - but in September I actually had a unit open for 3 months - the market has been flooded with illegal basement apartments. You can't keep on building and letting basement landlords (who don't meet any sort of fire code) build additional units. The city is clueless - you can't keep on flooding a market and turning a blind eye to illegal basement units. Do your job counsel!
1/21/2014 12:27:20 AM
drdolittle says:
Awww, are enterprising individuals cutting into your bottom line? Possibly if landlords maintained the properties they had they wouldn't have a problem renting them. Obviously people are going to choose to move into units that are newer and nicer.
1/21/2014 2:00:49 PM
MD says:
Maybe you should update your rentals so they are more appealing. If you have a unit empty for 3 months when university and college students have returned either they found something better or you’re overpriced. I find it hard to believe that people would be choosing these basement apartments over yours unless you’re unable to keep up with the changing Thunder Bay rental market. Check any rental add on Kijiji, there’s 100’s of views because there is a demand for it. It’s time to stop complaining and blaming others for your failures and time to start taking responsibility for your own overpriced and outdated rentals.
1/21/2014 2:25:42 PM
Tbay99 says:
Speaking of Hutton park drive, maybe council could take some of that art budget and repave that sorry excuse of a road.
1/20/2014 10:35:37 PM
tsb says:
1/21/2014 7:01:07 AM
sky high says:
You're exactly the type of person who tries to keep this town in the middle ages. No, let's not create any culture in Thunder Bay, let's not display any art or try to clean up anything but the roads. "Fill that pothole, and they will come."
1/21/2014 8:02:51 AM
tbay99 says:
sky high I really am starting to think your are just an internet troll looking to get a rise out of people. Give it a rest with your art we know you want the "Paris of the North" all on the taxpayers dime, it is not happening. Oh and by the way some council members have recently stated the need to CUT art spending! /clap
1/21/2014 9:38:47 AM
sky high says:
And I'm beginning to think that the only ambition you have in life is to keep this city water rock and tree; and to fill potholes. I'm not trying to get a rise out of anyone-I'm just pointing out that your ambition is to keep this town as mundane as possible. But it's not going to happen. We're headed in a great direction here.
1/21/2014 10:40:14 AM
Eastender says:
Skyhigh, you and your ilk are nothing but socialist leaches who want everyone else to pay for your good times and prosperity. Why dont you fund your fun with your own money and stop trying to pick my pockets!

This has nothing to do with holding the city back, and everything to do with leaches sucking the life out of hard working honest people.
1/21/2014 11:05:57 PM
tsb says:
My god, I imagine Waverley Park Towers must be a torrid cesspool! I shall certainly never set foot there!

Here is an idea for Mr. Prinsloo: Go up to your new rental neighbours and say "hi". With rents in this area starting at $800 for a basement bachelor apartment (that's what people pay for the exact same thing in suburban Vancouver, btw!) and getting as high as $1,300 for an apartment in Valleyview Apartments (TWO blocks away, 45 units!) and over $2,000 a month for a house, who exactly is it that you're concerned about? The *gasp* middle class?

Give me a break.
1/20/2014 10:29:36 PM
Baor says:
Maybe those future underclass renters should look elsewhere.
With homeowners like these for neighbours.....sheesh. Talk about stereotyping.
I once had a tenant who was a doctor, replaced by a police officer, replaced by another doctor....they were the worst.
I wonder if it's warmer up on Prinsloo and LaBelle's pedestal ?

1/20/2014 9:50:06 PM
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