Thanks to the Port Stanley News for hosting this discussion of the issue of residential
development adjacent to George Street through your letters column. We emphatically
deny the assumption that all development or any development will automatically make
Port Stanley a better place to live. Bigger is not necessarily better.
By adding roughly twenty per cent to the population of the village at one fell swoop,
we can be assured of more traffic problems, a good deal of disruption during the
construction process, a more impersonal community, a greater strain on our infrastructure
and one step closer to a rat race. Anybody who thinks the George Street development
will lower municipal taxes is placing a long bet on a short horse.
There is no doubt that the subdivision will go ahead with or without comments in
this newspaper. The developers want to make money and council will rubber stamp
it. The residents will be invited to a public meeting where they will be able to
view plans and drawings of a development that will be as bland as all the other
ones in Ontario.
Forty years ago, long before amalgamation, a Korean company attempted to establish
a recycling plant for used lubricants and other chemicals on the polluted property
directly east of the proposed development we are discussing. There was some support
from those who saw jobs and tax relief in the project. It would have been a disaster
for the village. A group calling themselves PURE fought successfully to have the
plant rejected. A young man named Dave Marr got a taste of municipal politics as
a result. Bill Koscis, who owned the farmland on George Street was another leader
of PURE. Due to the existing pollution at the former Dominion Gas site, Koscis was
prohibited from building houses on much of his land.
In those days we enjoyed a Port Stanley council that conducted their business in
chambers where they could be seen and heard and there were many times when there
was a great deal to be heard.
Those days are over. We grew larger. Are we any better? Only if you buy the arguments
of the land developers, profiteers and politicians hook, line and sinker.
Thank you for the opportunity to express our views.
Frank and Nancy Prothero.