Consider This
Politics, Life and Journalism in Northumberland County, Ontario

Shoppers Drug Mart-Mr. Sub development controversy moves to the homefront

First published: April 24, 2005

By Keith Oliver

Latest update re Shoppers-Mr Sub.

In total the enclosed is a 2.5 page package being delivered door to door in
downtown Cobourg. Will have 1200 – 1500 out by end of the week. Monday, May
2nd, should be the big evening at Council over Shoppers-Mr Sub. It’s full
Council so should be televized except last time the cable company equipment
broke down. Will press council for reform of LACAC, etc.
Good morning!

I’m delivering this to you in the hope that you will take some kind of
action, including forwarding this entire message to friends, or anyone else
you know of, who may be interested. If they don’t “compute”, print off a
copy and put it in their mailbox. I’m distributing 450 by hand over the
weekend.

Of the 9 issues to do with the growth of the town that I have worked on
since coming to Cobourg, this is the most important and the most immediate.
The issue of the Shoppers-Mr Sub project is nothing more or nothing less
than a direct assault on the downtown. The preservation and enhancement of
the downtown core, including the residential area around it, is the
ultimate growth and development issue for Cobourg.

This is a very important moment. As the article included below argues,
this is also a time to reform LACAC, including putting into place an
effective functioning chair, and replacing Councillor Dean McCaughey as
Town Council liaison. I could not believe my ears when McGaughey said to
the April 19th LACAC meeting, and I quote, “Anything goes on King Street!”

Is this request of mine extreme? I contend that it is not. Just look
around at King Street. The Bank of Montreal facade was said to mimic
Victoria Hall. It was an expensive exercise and failed miserably. For the
money we could have had a less showy facade, similar to the ScotiaBank
building, with a false second storey front. The sign on the Bargin Shop is
rude to say the least, and is bigger than the one it replaced. It was
supposed to be the same size or smaller. Uniquely Yours was hasseled over
their improved store front to the point where they almost gave up. Fresh
Living was publically embarrased, if not the town as a whole, over the
confussed and indecisive response from LACAC over their choice of colour.
The situation is so bad under LACAC’s supervision that merchants are now
going ahead and doing what they want without informing LACAC. The attitude
is “So sue me!”

I can also tell you that an important active developer with projects in
the downtown area has considered pulling up stakes and moving out. That’s
how bad it is! I could go on, but I hope I have made the point … this is
a unique moment.

Please take some kind of action. Experience indicates that council acts
only when enough people demand action. If this does not happen, this whole
issue will simply be forgotten.

Thanks for your patience in reading this. Call if you want to discuss
anything. (tel 377-0107)

Keith Oliver,

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