Philip Brown, former Charlottetown city councillor, was not at Monday’s monthly council meeting in person, but his presence was very much felt.
Brown penned a letter to the editor that was published in The Guardian last Saturday. He took as his text the annual Mayor’s Report signed by Clifford Lee.
Lee said he was not going to dignify the allegations with a response. Coun. Cecil Villard said there many inaccuracies in Brown’s letter.
One of many attacks leveled by Brown was an allegation that “numerous studies have been conducted on the 500 Lots, the waterfront and Victoria Park, but no real action has been taken; (and) the official plan is woefully out-of-date.”
“I have to take exception to that statement,” said a fuming Coun. Rob Lantz, chair of Charlottetown’s planning and heritage committee, during his report at Monday’s council meeting.
“The first and only comprehensive master plan on Victoria Park is now underway so I’m not sure what he was referring to. Our Planning Act states that our Official Plan must be reviewed on a regular basis. I know back in 2005 when (Brown) was chairing this committee, it was years overdue and the only thing that took place was a perfunctory review where a few definitions and typos were updated. We are undergoing right now the most comprehensive review of our planning policies and procedures and bylaws and Official Plan of this city that has ever been seen since amalgamation. That criticism is unfounded.
“I’ll take the waterfront, for example. We have had at least four public meetings, workshops, numerous stakeholder meetings, walking tours, open houses to review designs. Staff have drafted bylaw amendments, brand-new sections of our zoning and development bylaw and amendments to our Official Plan.
“This is the former chair of planning, a former candidate for mayor, and by the sounds of it, sounds like he may be trying to take another shot at it,” continued Lantz. “I take exception to this because I know how hard our staff work and how many files they have on their table.
“In two weeks time, we will be having a very important meeting on the 500 Lots,” said Lantz.
“Have you cooled down yet?” asked Coun. Terry Bernard, with a wry smile, as he rose to ask questions about earlier portions of Lantz’s report.