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The Calgary Eye Opener Monday, October 26, 2020
 
!%@From the Long Bar at the Alberta Hotel@%!
VICTORIA'S CRYSTAL COURT MOTEL --- CRACK DOWN ON THE DEVELOPERS --- HOUSE THE HOMELESS
Local preachers ran him and his Eye Opener newspapers out of Wetaskiwin and, in turn, Strathcona and High River for "expressing contrary opinions, drinking and hootin' and yellin'and generally disturbing' the Gospel". He arrived in Calgary and the paper became The Calgary Eye Opener in 1904
This morning I woke up to feel as if a great stone had been lifted from my neck.
Bill Moyers on the election of America's first black president
09-Nov-08 -
SAY WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT MAYOR KONDO AL LOWE -- HE'S NOT FRIGHTENED TO DO THE RIGHT THING - EXAMPLE - HE SENT SQUADS OF COPS OVER TO VICTORIA'S BEACON HILL PARK TO THROW THE PARKS REGULATION BYLAW AT THOSE LOAFERS UGLIFIN' THE CITY'S PARKS ---   HOW ABOUT SENDING THE KOP SQUADS OVER TO THE SHAMBLES THAT WAS THE CRYSTAL COURT MOTEL TO THROW THE THE PROPERTY MAINTENANCE BYLAW AT THE DEVELOPER WHO IS UGLIFIN' VICTORIA'S HUMBOLDT VALLEY     ... HOW ABOUT TURNING THE CRYSTAL COURT'S UNITS INTO WINTER HOMES FOR THE HOMELESS - BOB YOU'VE LOOKED INTO THIS --- WHAT'S THE STORY?
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The Crystal Court abomination is the work of Westbank Corporation. Westbank --- nominally --- is "out of Vancouver" but I suspect their money comes from offshore. Anyway, they bought, on spec, a perfectly good, functioning motel, the Crystal Court.At the left you'll see what it looked like:

Westbank quickly shut down the Crystal Court and boarded it up and, on the right, is what it's looked like for the last year The Victoria Zoning Bylaw, bad as it is, only allows Westbank to build up to a height of 21.5 metres. Westbank has been lobbying ever since to more than double it's height. Kondo Al, I'm sure, was in favor of Westbank but most of Victoria's City Council wasn't and isn't. Westbank keeps lobbying and the site has been ugliating for a year now. The city hasn't enough beds for its homeless citizens. Mr. John --- great idea -- put em up in the Crystal Court. David Johnson's tent city looks a lot better than the Crystal Court. Johnson's people would certainly gussy up the Crystal Court.

John --- when the mayor first tried to throw the homeless campers out of the parks, Judge Carol Ross threw the mayor out of court. --- but the mayor's stubborn and he loves doing things behind closed doors -- so he held a secret session of city council and passed a new bylaw --- tents had to be taken down by seven in the dark of early morning --- couldn't be pitched till nine in the dark of night. Immediately the bylaw was passed squads of kops stormed the homeless camp in Beacon Hill Park and arrested camper chief David Johnson and some of his campers. Two weeks later, on Halloween, they arrested and bullied them around again. The campers have gone back to court. Meantime, we haven't seen any kops down at the Crystal Court site bullying Westbank Corporation.

A few weeks ago we reported that (CLICK HERE TO READ OUR STORY, "FIGHTING KONDO KREEP IN CRIDGE PARK"), by way of the Cridge Park Rescue Group, citizens were in revolt against mayor Al's attempt to convert downtown Cridge Park and its historic bowling green into a concrete kondo jungle. Have another look at the "Rescue Group's website. The group has asked each candidate in November 15th's city council election (including the candidates for mayor) three questions:
  1. Do you support a City-initiated process to zone all parks, including Cridge Park, to a specific Park Zone?
  • Do you recognize the historic importance of the CPR lawn bowling green?
  • Do you believe that Cridge Park plays a vital role not only in its relationship to the National Historic Sites of the Church of Our Lord and St. Anns Academy and the provincially-significant Crystal Garden, but also as part of the Necklace of Parks that links the Inner Harbour through Beacon Hill Park to Dallas Road?
  • Many candidates answered. Either Rob Reid or Dean Fortin will be elected mayor - both support the Rescue --- so did most of the candidates who answered. The Group posted all candidates' answers on their website so that the Group, if necessary, can hold the feet of the members of council to the fire. And the Rescue Group invited all candidates in the election to the Church of Our Lord on October 28. Rescue organizers were smart enough to realize that there wasn't enough time for all candidates to speak at the meeting so the Rescue gave each candidate a desk --- posted the three questions on a sign in front of the desk --- handed each candidate a big black marking pencil to write in their answers. 500 citizens showed up and asked plenty of questions. Their feet held to the fire, almost all the candidates supported the Rescue Group. Yes they can! It looks like the group have won the battle.

    I was there --- so was David Johnson -- so I got a chance to interview him. He is clean and tidy and he speaks with a quiet voice and a slight stutter. If I was a Rescue Group member I'd be worried - Johnson wants to pitch his tent city in Cridge Park. He is against inserting a Park Zone in the Zoning Bylaw - he thinks the bureaucracy would use zoning regulations against campers. He thinks the lawn bowling club is a good thing because it allows people to get together in a "gentle" way. He believes that most problems can be solved if people are gentle to each other.He says he feels sorry for the mayor because the mayor "is in a tight position". I wasn't able to determine what he meant by that.


    Canada isn't without supporters of the principles of the late Jane Jacobs who fought so hard against concrete high-rise jungles. Todd Babiak wrote in the Edmonton Journal a year ago: "There are few corners more resonant and soulful in Edmonton than 109th Street and 88th Avenue. The commercial buffer between the university and Old Strathcona includes a bike shop, a fitness company, a travel outlet and two of the city's finest spots to eat (and economically), drink and write the great Canadian novel ..." Kondo developers tried to buy the buffer from Patrick Turner, the 85-year-old, real estate savvy owner. To save the buffer Turner sold it to his tenants for less than 1/2 its market value. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY

     

    NOTES

    Jane Jacobs

    Victoria's Property Maintenance Bylaw

    British Columbia's Offence Act

    Crystal Court Motel Brochure circa 2007

    Real Estate Information -- Condo Tower too tall

    Checkout time for Crystal Court - Victoria Times Colonist, November 20, 2007

    Game over for lawn bowlers - Victoria Times Colonist, November 19, 2007

    Crystal Court development revamped again - Victoria News, September 23, 2008

    Victoria Vision - April 23, 2007

    Developer submits sixth proposal for Crystal Court site - Victoria Times Colonist, September 19, 2008

    Web page of the Cridge Park Rescue Group

    Projects in downtown Victoria

    The Edmonton Journal of November 4, 2007 --- Iconic Eateries escape the wrecking ball

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