Libertarian protects Property Rights in Thornhill

  • Posted on: 26 June 2013
  • By: Gene Balfour

Say “NO” to Grandview "traffic intensification"

 HELLO fellow Grandview home-owners and concerned community members.

I have spoken with a few of you recently and share your concern about the pending increase in traffic on Grandview due to the opening of the World on Yonge, as well as the other building plans slated for the east side of Yonge north of Steeles. It is clear that something must be done to accommodate for these traffic changes in our community. The Dudley Ring Road plan appears to be our best option. To me, it is a proven traffic management strategy [I am referring to the ring road around North York Center ] and it offers many clear advantages such as….  

Prevent “city encroachment“ from reaching our front doors.

·       The Dudley Ring Road will provide a clear demarcation and traffic separation between the "big city" lifestyle that is being built west of Dudley and the residential lifestyle [safe, quiet, low traffic streets] that every Grandview resident "bought into" when they purchased their home.  If we wanted the "big city" lifestyle, we would have bought a residence in the World on Yonge.

Protect our home equity

·       As a bi-product of protecting our "residential lifestyle", the Dudley Ring Road will also protect our PROPERTY VALUES which are largely determined by the desirable qualities of this  "residential lifestyle" that we wish to protect for ourselves,  our families  and our neighbors.

·       Every property owner has invested time and money to create an attractive property  with trees, shrubs, flowers, landscaping, etc. By widening Grandview and/or putting in sidewalks, all of this will be compromised.

·his This is a Property Rights issue. We know that the City of Markham "owns" several feet of frontage on each lot and are legally within their right to claim this property for road expansion.  However, the market value [our “property” in the sense that our home is an asset with a definable market value] of every home on Grandview is determined by lot size, traffic volume and other characteristics of their home. Future Grandview property sales prices will surely be lower by the proposed widening of Grandview. For example, if the market value of my home [141 Grandview] is currently ~$800,000 and if the negative impact on the future sales price is 10%, then my wife and I stand to lose $80,000 of tax-exempt equity on our property. Multiply this by ~160 Grandview home-owners you can see what is at stake.

Keep Grandview safe for everyone

·       Full Day Kindergarten comes to Henderson Public School in the Fall 2013. Less traffic means lower risk of accidents for children walking to school across Grandview in morning rush hour.

·       Emerging from our driveways at rush hour will be more difficult and less safe if traffic intensification is allowed to increase on Grandview.

·       Our driveways will be shortened and thereby compromise our ability to park cars. Roadside parking will likely increase or, if restricted by bylaws, make the parking of more than one vehicle problematic as is the case in many inner city streets.

·       Neighbors getting exercise walking and enjoying the safety and serenity of Grandview will inevitably drop off as the street is transformed into a heavier traffic corridor.

Doncaster businesses will benefit from greater traffic volumes

·       By directing the increased traffic generated by future developments like World on Yonge along Doncaster rather than Grandview, the Doncaster businesses will actually benefit from increased traffic flow by attracting more drive-by convenience shoppers. 

Less cost to taxpayers

·       The Dudley Ring Road will join Steeles Avenue and Doncaster - both roads are designed to handle the heavier traffic flow.  The Dudley Ring Road will funnel traffic to these roads and eliminate the need to spend your tax dollars on modifications to Grandview.

·       The amount of taxpayer money needed to create the relatively short Dudley Ring Road will be much less than any plans to modify an almost 1 km long Grandview Ave.

·       There is a growing mood amongst taxpayers [aka voters] to contain government spending and the Dudley Ring Road option is clearly the better choice in this regard.

Don’t destroy a senior’s dream

·       I have lived at 141 Grandview since 1992 and bought this home for exactly the quiet, safe, residential lifestyle that it presented to my family and myself. I am turning 62 in August and will retire in a few years. I have worked many years to build equity in my home and have been counting on this equity to fund much of my retirement. Is this  Traffic Committee really prepared to consider decisions that will reduce my home equity  and the residential lifestyle of retired senior citizens like myself living on Grandview? I am counting on the answer to this question to be a resounding -"NO" .

To Politicians and City of Markham officials – earn our trust!

·       We have voted for you - our civic leaders - to protect our interests. We pay property taxes to ensure that our rights are defended. I trust that you will protect us from these threats and support the Dudley Ring Road option on behalf of the residents of Grandview. If not, then I hope that you will support our "class action" efforts to receive compensation and justice for this unwanted and unrequested intrusion into our lives.

Does there have to be  “winners” and “losers”?

·       The way I see it, The City of Markham [winner] stands to gain in new tax revenues from World on Yonge;  the World on Yonge owners [winner] stand to benefit financially from their investment. The only losers are the Grandview home-owners. By compensating the Grandview home-owners for the loss and inconvenience of this pending threat of Grandview “traffic intensification” and the changes that this must bring, any solution chosen must result in a "win-win-win” scenario. The Dudley Ring Road plan offers the best financially and politically attractive option.

Don’t allow Grandview to become just like Willowdale Avenue south of Steeles!

If you agree with the points made above, please attend and support the Dudley Ring Road plan on Thursday, June 27 at the Thornhill Community Center South Hall

 Gene Balfour                                       141 Grandview Ave                                   647 309 7817

The above analysis is my own and reflects the interests of myself and the few home-owners on Grandview with whom I have discussed this issue.