I’ve written about the Teehan’s plight twice. If you watch Sandra Bussin you can see how little she cares. She’s just going through the motions.
I don’t normally get too excited about politics. Ya, it sucks when some elected official absconds with a million dollars or some boondoggle like the G20 blows a billion dollars but so what, “it’s only money“.
I can handle the false apologies, the broken promises and general corruption that is generally associated with politics. (See the boardwalk pub deal)
Recently city councilor Sandra Bussin set forth a motion to make the Geoff and Melissa Teehan’s property a heritage building stating that “Anybody in the ward would have had an inkling that there may be an issue about the value, he [Geoff Teehan] did make an inquiry somewhere, but not to the city and not me.” (It seems she is upset that he didn’t first ask permission from the “almighty” city councilor, if he could remodel his own house!)
But I can handle the big ego.
This is despite Geoff checking with the heritage society first (which would seem like due diligence), which did not label 204 Beech a heritage home. (I have a house build in 1925, perhaps I should check with Ms. Bussin if my house is heritage too!) The heritage society had obviously visited the area. They had already made four houses on Beech Avenue heritage homes, so it’s not like they weren’t aware of the houses in the neighborhood. Why didn’t they just designate the whole are a “heritage zone”.
I can handle the negligence and absent -mindedness.
No, the part that pisses me off is when presented with the possibility of a petition to save or rebuild the property she stated, “It’s inconsequential to the issue, I could drive by, or another person could drive by and say, ‘I’d like to have that property reviewed,’ which I have done in the past. You don’t need a petition, you don’t need a call from a constituent. It’s usually when a property is being sold and its value comes to light.”
What the fuck is wrong with this city? If I get a petition together it is “inconsequential” but Sandra Bussin has the power to commission the assessment of someone’s property without their knowledge, consent, or a mandate from the people to do so? Where is the democracy in that? The whole thing smacks of hubris.
And what does she mean by, “…I could drive by or another person…” Does that mean a spiteful neighbor could have my home declared heritage just to screw me? (Oh wait someone is already doing that to the Teehan’s) Could I have Ms. Bussin house designated a heritage home? Could traditionalists just run around the city putting an end to all development forcing everyone to live in out-dated, inefficient, and beastly old monstrosities because they don’t feel modern architecture is “right”. It boggles the mind.
If Mr. Teehan’s home was even a candidate for heritage status then that should have been very clear when he purchased the property. If, God forbid, Ms. Bussin gets her way I hope the Teehan’s sue ward 32 for discrimination against the handicapped and paint 204 Beech lime green.
Imagine you wake up one day and by the end of the day, you end up paralyzed. Talk about a tragedy. That is exactly what happened to Melissa Teehan who was stricken with transverse myelitis. (Ya, I had to look it up too.) Essentially it is a neurological disorder that leaves you paralyzed, or dead.
The problem is that Melissa and her family would like to create a wheel-chair friendly house but to do that they need to raze the house that is currently on their property. That is where the issues begin. It seems their busy-body neighbors have started a campaign to save the house, never mind actually helping the Teehan’s.
The best part, Kirstin Campbell (the busiest-body), who created a blog to save the house doesn’t even live in the Beaches! She doesn’t even live in the fucking country! She lives in Germany. I would encourage Kirstin to ask her German neighbors if a 90 year old house constitutes a “heritage building”. I highly doubt it.
It seems that Kirstin has a bee in her bonnet because 204 Beech avenue is her childhood home. Well Kirstin, you know what they say about going home again.
The other best part is that Sandra Bussin, the city counselor for the beach has decided rather than help one of her constituents, she would rather save a bunch of bricks and wood. Which shouldn’t be too surprising as Ms. Bussin has a history of supporting some but not all the people who live in her area. Perhaps the house at 204 beech also supported her election campaign?
Anyway, according to Ms. Campbell’s blog, the criteria for a house to be considered “heritage” is:
1. (1) The criteria set out in subsection (2) are prescribed for the purposes of clause 29 (1) (a) of the Act. O. Reg. 9/06, s. 1 (1).
(2) A property may be designated under section 29 of the Act if it meets one or more of the following criteria for determining whether it is of cultural heritage value or interest:
1. The property has design value or physical value because it,
i. is a rare, unique, representative or early example of a style, type, expression, material or construction method,
ii. displays a high degree of craftsmanship or artistic merit, or
iii. demonstrates a high degree of technical or scientific achievement.
2. The property has historical value or associative value because it,
i. has direct associations with a theme, event, belief, person, activity, organization or institution that is significant to a community,
ii. yields, or has the potential to yield, information that contributes to an understanding of a community or culture, or
iii. demonstrates or reflects the work or ideas of an architect, artist, builder, designer or theorist who is significant to a community.
3. The property has contextual value because it,
i. is important in defining, maintaining or supporting the character of an area,
ii. is physically, functionally, visually or historically linked to its surroundings, or
iii. is a landmark. O. Reg. 9/06, s. 1 (2).
This building does not meet any of these criteria, any more than any other building in the area. Which by Ms. Campbell’s reasoning should mean that no development should ever occur anywhere because it is “heritage”. If Ms. Campbell and the other “concerned neighbors” give that big a shit about the house, then let them collect some money and buy it from the Teehan’s.
My house is as old as this one and I would love the opportunity raze it and build up something architecturally interesting, elegant, green and efficient. But the building is besides the point. The point is that someone needs help. A family is attempting to make their lives as comfortable as they can given some horrendous circumstances and some jerks with more time than compassion want to interfere.
A shame when buildings come before people.