City hall debate over major London development projects
Mayor Joe Fontana called Thursday “London's greatest day," but not everyone who was at city hall agreed.
Almost a million square feet of new development was advanced by the planning committee.
But big money and big developments inevitably led to big outbursts as councillors and the mayor weighed the merits of the projects.
Mega projects like the Fincore Development in Soho and the PenEquity Shopping Centre on Highway 401 moved forward Thursday night.
The paperwork had barely come out of the printer, when the political push began to approve rezoning land for Fincore's two high rise developments in the Soho neighbourhood.
Fincore was seeking to rezone land to build on some that the company doesn't own, including that possessed by a pair of homeowners who have resisted selling.
Despite the apprehension of staff, the proposal moved ahead on the notion that the document can be reviewed prior to consideration by council next week.
Not every approval went so smoothly. PenEquity's proposal to build a next generation shopping district south of Highway 401 hit a snag as concerns were again raised about a four-hectare significant woodlot on the property.
In the end, the committee recommended that staff continue discussions with PenEquity about an estimated $3.5-million compensation package to plant new trees or buy and protect other woodlots in the city.
Five hours after it began, the meeting wrapped, but with differing views of how the night's decisions will reshape London.