A council with long-range vision?
My comments at the city council meeting at the Aylmer service centre, September 19, were mentioned in the Bulletin, and I would like to expand on my point about the excessive number of permits being given out for condo construction.
As anyone can notice driving through the Plateau, there are for-sale signs in the windows of pretty much every condo building in the area. People can't sell them.
The main reason is that new condos are being built constantly. Many are on the Plateau, not far from Grives Blvd. Others are closer to central Aylmer, such as what's going up over Galeries Aylmer.
New units will sell. New constructions are popular. The problem is that many people purchasing these units plan to sell them in a few years to upgrade to a house. They find themselves trapped. The constant addition of more condo units exacerbates the problem.
In the case of units designed for seniors, they tend to draw in people who were renting elsewhere, often within a few blocks. This makes it very difficult for older units to rent, and they often sit empty. Just look at how long for-rent signs stay in front of the units on Wilfrid Lavigne between North and de la Corse.
Clearly, the developers who are building these units are an important source of revenue for the city. However, this comes at the cost of urban sprawl, something that will last for generations.
We need elected officials who think more of the medium- to long-term, to encourage development of commercial and communal areas within residential zones where residents can feel a sense of community. Central Aylmer has rue Principale, but many other neighbourhoods get nothing but condos and the occasional mall - accessible only by car. Not much to give a neighbourhood soul.
Strong leadership and the willingness to say no to the highest bidding developers will give us thriving neighbourhoods instead of just row after row of condos, of which many may soon sit empty.