In April 2013, the LPOA reached a financial settlement with SmartCentres, regarding their then-proposed SmartCentre North shopping mall site at Laird and Wicksteed. When it became clear that they were not prepared to agree to any decrease in the size of the anchor tenant, nor to exclude any specific tenant, our focus shifted to seek a settlement that would provide funding measures to address at least some of Leasiders’ concerns, and which would help protect the community from the negative impact of the many large retail outlets on Laird.
The written settlement agreement between LPOA and SmartCentres, concluded on April 9, 2013, allows LPOA to embark on measures that will benefit both the areas closest to the proposed development and the community as a whole. In particular, it provides LPOA with $110,000 in funding, which should be sufficient to:
- hire our own experts to address flow-through traffic problems with a proper traffic study
- initiate heritage conservation efforts
- assist the Bayview shopping district through a new and much needed BIA., and
- pay some of the consultant fees incurred to date (approximately $10,000)
This funding is to be spent at LPOA’s discretion.
The settlement also notes the community’s safety concerns regarding underground parking, and everyone’s desire for good landscaping and increased bicycle use. SmartCentre has agreed to involve LPOA in the site design implementation. [continue reading…]