Don’t Be A Jerk is good advice in life in general, at Hamilton’s Committee of Adjustment, it’s important.
During Thursday (Sept 1/16) hearings, being a jerk cost a professional agent the respect of the committee, in the other, by not engaging in a neighbour dispute, a applicant saw their variance unanimously approved without debate.
231 York Road, Dundas
In one, the developers agent for 231 York Road in Dundas once again proved that being a jerk at Committee of Adjustment is never a good idea.
The developer was seeking a series of variances as the first step towards building six single detached homes. The property has been to two OMB hearings the developer loss, and OMB has provided clear direction for the future development.
The variances were a stretch to begin with – as they were a first step (the committee likes to deal in minor changes after primary approvals or on existing developed properties) and were contentious. The developers agent started his argument, the committee was giving him a hearing … then…
The agent launched into an attack on the character of the neighbours to the property, accusing them of a litany of wrongs and saying they should be ignored because they are “anti-development” and NIMBY.
At this point, the committee’s body language changed and they were done listening to the agent.
The neighbourhood representative followed, she is a professional planner by profession. She addressed the accusations simply and in a very measured polite tone stated ‘I’m disappointed in the accusations, which are not true.’ She then focused on advancing the neighbours planning arguments.
Her professional and proper presentation was well received by committee, which voted unanimously to reject the application.
The Neighbours Dispute and Peoples Court
A later hearing turned into a neighbours dispute complete with a dramatic presentation straight from casting for The People’s Court. The neighbour dispute followed the usual narrative – complaints about noise, property standards, and even “they threatened to kill me”. The applicant neighbour sat quietly during the tirade.
The committee chair asked the committee if they had any questions on the planning matter in front of them. No questions, move to approve, and unanimous approval.
Proving that, at committee of adjustment, decorum matters.