In my neighbourhood Steele Auto Group secretly purchased 20 houses through shell companies and now plans to destroy them all to build a parking lot, displacing dozens of people and disrupting a vibrant community in the process. The homes that will be demolished to expand the parking lot include my next door neighbour.
A group of people who live here in the North End have been working in opposition to the plan since we first learned of the secret buying of properties and the irresponsible approval of the demolitions by the city. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/HomesNotHondas/, http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/nova-scotia/north-end-halifax-honda-steele-auto-group-expansion-1.3558767)
Some of the coverage of the issue has been painting it as a “not in our back yard” reaction, but this kind of development should not be allowed over any place where people live. Halifax already suffers from the erosion of population density and the loss of affordable housing. Some of these homes should have been replaced by newer structures, but losing homes is not something our communities can afford.
Brenden Sommerhalder, who is running for city council, has been working to bring a petition to council and to find legal justification for preventing the development. (http://bsommerhalder.ca/blog/2016/4/29/homes-not-hondas-in-our-residential-community, http://bsommerhalder.ca/blog/2016/5/2/homesnothondas-call-to-action-pen-and-paper-petition-for-council). Anyone who seeks office in this city or who wants to keep their position after the upcoming municipal elections does not deserve a vote if they do not work to protect our communities. Brenden has demonstrated he can do that. I hope others will also defend the fabric of our city from this kind of reckless destruction of our communities.