The start point of my upcoming Jane’s Walk erupted in controversy this week. Victoria City Council is considering selling several properties occupied by the Point Hope Shipyard and related businesses. Councillors Ben Isitt and Shellie Gudgeon have organized a public forum on the issue, scheduled for next Wednesday (May 9) at the Fairfield Community Centre’s Garry Oak Room (1335 Thurlow Road). Apart from the issues raised by myself (and Jane Jacobs) surrounding industry, pollution, jobs and residential zoning in cities, I think we should discuss the issues that Ben and Shellie raise. The Times-Colonist story summarizes them well:
Isitt says there are many unanswered questions regarding the four cityowned properties on Harbour Road, including:
– whether they are really surplus to the city’s needs;
– whether the city realizes the greatest economic benefit by selling, rather than leasing the lands;
– whether the city is a stronger position as owner or regulator of the lands when it comes to sustaining a working harbour and ensuring a manufacturing base;
– If the lands are deemed surplus to the city’s needs, whether a sale through negotiation with the current tenant produce would the best return.