As a community we have agreed to standards for development in our city. We have also agreed to a process for resolving differences of opinion. Although I have sometimes disagreed with some of the standards when I have invested my money on my buildings, I have always complied. I have done this simply because it was the right thing to do as a respectful member of my community. I have also done so, with the understanding that the ‘playing field’ was level and that my neighbor would need to comply with the same regulations and standards. I relied on this simple principle of natural justice. I am reticent to give this up. If I do so, then we all loose our right to expect the regulations to be fairly applied to our neighbors if we have a disagreement that impacts our homes where we have invested our money.
I believe that the IOL project, that I hope will be built on the site at 30 King Square South, will be of a high quality. I am in favor of development on that site and in all of Saint John, by anyone who wants to invest their money, as I have. I am neither anti Irving or anti development. I have followed the rules in my development projects and in filing my appeal when I believe that my neighbor is not adhering to those same rules. I am being asked to give up my democratic rights so that my neighbor can proceed with a development that breaks the rules. If I do that, what other rights and freedoms that we cherish should I be prepared to give up?
The irony in this situation is that there is a simple solution. That solution provides for a building:
- of the same design;
- on the same site;
- no additional cost;
- meets all of the regulations;
- meets all of the goals of the proponent; and
- accommodates the 1000 employees on that site.
The required changes to the existing proposal are so minor as to be insignificant. When it is unveiled everyone will ask, why so much controversy? There is a win-win that does not require compromising any principles, regulations or rights that we all enjoy as a member of a democratic society. I am working with city officials. We are proceeding in a respectful manner. I have offered to share that concept with the proponent. I look forward to seeing a development on the site at 30 King Square South.
Jim H. Bezanson