We are still close enough to the beginning of the New Year to indulge in a few predictions for Leaside in 2018.
My first: the City will once again send out property tax bills right after the holidays (they really know how to say Happy New Year), and once again we’ll be reminded that the system of Current Value Assessment guarantees that, increasingly, more Leasiders will find themselves house-rich and cash-poor.
My next prediction: commuter and retail-related flow-through traffic will continue to plague Leasiders, regardless of what part of the neighbourhood we live in, until we can come together to agree on traffic measures that deter and/or calm traffic on a Leaside-wide basis. It would be nice to make 2018 the year we succeed.
Meanwhile, the new Costco store will open on Overlea Blvd. this spring, attracting shoppers from far and wide, many of whom will drive through Leaside as a shortcut to and from the store. According to the traffic consultant Costco hired to support their cause, the store will primarily attract shoppers (aka drivers) from the east and south of us, not the north and west. That’s why they didn’t study the store’s potential traffic impact on Leaside. I predict we will notice a difference.
I also predict that Leaside will continue to attract intense interest from property developers, and the subject of intensification will be a major issue. How much more intensification can our part of the city accommodate (no pun intended) before our aging infrastructure gives out? In 2018, will more developers seriously invest farther east and west of the city core, to create new neighbourhoods instead of overbuilding in established ones? It’s not a prediction, but it’s something the city should encourage developers to do, and city planners to promote.
Here’s an easy New Year prediction: there will be a provincial election in late spring and a municipal one in the autumn, and the Leaside Property Owners’ Association will hold all candidates’ debates. I predict that Leasiders will demonstrate their usual high level of involvement and commitment by attending these public meetings and posing challenging and important questions to the people who want to represent us.
Of course, many unpredictable things will happen in 2018, and the LPOA hopes we can count on your encouragement, participation and support to mitigate problems and accentuate the many positives which make Leaside an enjoyable and desirable place to live.
Our next board meeting is on WED., FEB. 7th at 7:30 p.m. in the Noble Room at Trace Manes. Meetings are always open to the public. We invite you to attend, whether for help or advice on local matters, or just to hear more about what is happening in our community. Contact us anytime via our website, lpoa.ca.