Pickering debates – Is it really about a casino? What the hell is it about?

Why is the Group of Four
(Ryan, Dickerson, Pickles, Ashe)
so anxious to get it approved before the municipal election?
Do they have personal interest in this development?

Pickering received an application from the Pickering Developments Inc. to rezone three pieces of land near Bayly and Church streets for a “large tourism development”, Durham Live.

What, when and who is going to build this tourist destination area?
Well that’s pretty vague.

Nobody is sure. Even the developer, Pickering Developments, included a long list of possible amenities and the timeframe for this development to take shape over 15-20 years.

As the developer’s legal representative Katarzyna Sliwa indicated, the proposal is not for a casino, there is no detailed plans like that. What the developer wants is to have rezoning done. And then we will see what is going to be built and when. For all we know, they may build a Chinese cultural welcome center.

The degree of vagueness and misinformation about the Durham Live project begs the following questions:

  • Who is the current owner of the land in question?
  • Who profits the most from the re-zoning?
  • What other parties are involved?
  • What is the exact relationship between Pickering Developments and the individuals of this Group of Four?

One would assume that the original zoning was done with careful consideration of many factors. Before one adjusts these zoning plans, specific information should be available as to the reasons for the change so that an informed decision can be made. The unanswered questions and the general vagueness does not permit an informed decision.

This Group of Four appears to have some hidden agenda. One gets the impression that they are patiently going through the motions of hearing from concerned groups and individuals, but will eventually approve the rezoning no matter what issues are brought forward.

It’s time that these individuals in this Group of Four come clean and share with their constituents what this is really all about.