Waiting for the market to change

Not much Council can do about expired development permits

What can Council do about expired business development permits? The short answer is, not much, says the City’s Manager of Planning Services Troy Pollock.

Pollock was asked by Coun. Don McCormick at the regular Council meeting this week if there was something the City could do to speed development on such projects as the one at 49 Deer Park Avenue, the old Watkins school site, which has stood undeveloped for many years.

“There is not much you can do to make a developer take action,” Pollock said. “We keep in touch, but we can’t make them renew an expired permit or turn the shovel. I think they are waiting for the market to improve.”

Coun. Jack Ratcliffe said that the City could only step in if there were issues about payment of taxes.

Coun. Albert Hoglund pointed out that if the owners of 49 Deer Park wanted to proceed they would have to come back to Council for a new development permit as Council had already granted them one extension which has now expired.