Stop Farhi from Building High Rise by Harris Park

Stop Farhi from Building High Rise by Harris Park

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Shannon Rodrigues started this petition to London Ontario City Council and

A petition to urge Mayor Ed Holder, London City Council and the Planning and Environment Committee of London Ontario to reject the request by Farhi Holdings to build a 40 storey building at Ridout St N and Queens Ave. 

To Mayor Ed Holder, City Council and Planning Committee:

The building is unnecessary for the downtown area. There is both 'One Richmond Row' on Richmond St and the 'TriCar' building on York street that are currently in development. An additional high rise is not necessary, when these two high rises are already in construction. By approving this you are adding to the large collection of buildings owned by Farhi Holdings in our downtown core. A collection of buildings that sit mostly vacant and unmaintained. 

The beauty of London is it's landscape. The greenery, the parks, and the Thames River. London is not a concrete jungle like other large cities; namely Toronto.

The believed reasoning behind all the expensive high rises going up in the city, is to accommodate the Torontonians moving to the city. However, they are moving here for the lower living costs, and open spaces. By allowing these buildings to go up; Farhi Holdings building on Ridout St N included, you are increasing the living costs, and shrinking the open spaces.

The obvious economic forecast for this situation is that as these poor developmental decisions are made, the living cost of the city will continue to rise beyond what it already is, and the open spaces and beauty of the Forest City will decrease and the reason many of the Torontonians and Londoners live in this city will evaporate.

Why would people stay in London and commute to Toronto when they can live in Toronto for the same price, the same environment and less commute time. This would result in massive amounts of high priced apartments and condos being vacated and staying vacant. This would hurt the economical structure of the city in a massive way. And we will be left with a market crash, a lack of beautiful landscape that made our city the what it is, and large looming vacant high rises that will not be maintained due to the lack of rental income.

As an example of this last statement, ir is recommended to visit to the downtown core and look at the various Farhi owned buildings that stand vacant and rundown due to lack of tenancy/business.

Farhi has plenty of vacant downtown buildings already in their roster, that could be rezoned and renovated to be residential, if they wish to add to the housing market in the downtown core.

Listed Below is other concerns voiced by citizens of London sent to the Planning Committee on public record (names not stated for privacy reasons):

- Vibration impact from the extended construction of a 40-storey development directly adjacent to three historical structures. Due to the age and heritage value of the structures, damage would definitely occur as a result of construction vibration.

- It would loom over and dwarf the Ridout Street Complex, one of London's few National Historic Sites. It would dominate the sightlines and public space associated with Harris Park and the Forks of the Thames, the historic heart of our City.

- These buildings are protected by being Designated as part of the Downtown Heritage Conservation District and individually Designated (Part V and Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act respectively) and area also a National Historic Site. All of these designating documents cite the importance of the historic context architecture, streets, landscapes and other physical and visual features. The DHCD additionally ranks the site as ‘A’ and ‘H’ which requires the most stringent protection. New construction should‘ respect history’ and character-defining elements should be conserved and should be ‘physically and visually compatible’.

- There is already a 40 storey building being constructed at the corner of Talbot St and Fullarton St, and that is going to be monstrous but at least it is among other tall buidings in the vicinity, and not next to the park and river.

- Potential for increased shadowingand adverse impact on mature vegetation at Eldon House. The mature vegetation in question is along the steep bank which protects Eldon House from the floodplain below. It is essential for the longevity of this heritage site to protect this bank from erosion. Any shading which compromises the health of the vegetation along this steep embankment could potentially compound the threat of erosion.

- "Bankers Row is a National Historic Site https://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=12873 It is important to Ontario residents far beyond London's city limits, and indeed to all citizens of Canada. It deserves the full protection your City has promised it shall receive in your planning documents."

Cited from Architectural Conservancy Ontario's Provincial Board letter to the Planning Committee of London Ontario

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