Editor: There has to be a way.
Surely, as a community, we can channel some of the discord surrounding the Coulter Berry building into a creative solution that would be acceptable to both sides of the issue. We agree that the design, façade, and amenities of the building are not the problem, just its height and mass.
We agree that we need and want more parking and we agree that the excavation as it sits now is neither safe nor sightly. If cost is truly the issue, then instead of the Township using our tax dollars to fight the ALR and its own constituents in court, why not figure out a way to offer permissive tax exemptions and waive some development cost fees so that Eric Woodward can complete the underground parking and build a compliant two-storey building?
A two-storey building will require a smaller number of the parking spaces, freeing up more for public use. The cost to the Township would benefit us all.
If more residences are deemed to be the biggest need at the moment, then the upper floor could accommodate these and office space could be planned for the second storey of future development which is inevitable across the street. If shops and businesses were lined up waiting to move into the village, we would never see a vacant storefront and this is not the case.
Let’s take egos off the table, recognize that mistakes were made and get on with putting this great community back together.