The future of the controversial proposed addition to the historic Château Laurier hotel is up in the air for another 24 hours after a motion to repeal the developer’s heritage permit failed, only to be stalled by a councillor’s last-ditch effort to have the motion reconsidered.
Diane Deans introduced the motion for reconsideration immediately after the vote for Fleury’s motion, to revoke the heritage permit from the owners of the hotel, failed.
That initial motion, which passed, would have delayed the proceedings until the next council meeting which occurs at the end of August but Mayor Jim Watson introduced his own motion to bring the vote to a special council meeting to be held the following afternoon.
That motion also passed.
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According to Deans, she introduced this motion in order to bring more wholesome debate to the issue and give councillors the whole summer to discuss the issue and possibly even bring Larco to the table for a discussion.
“I never think that a decision that ultimately divides the community is a good decision,” said Deans. “You know it’s better for everyone to take a little water with their wine than it is to have winners and losers.”
“And today what you saw is their divided council and a community that will be very unhappy with the outcome of that council decision.”
Watson says he introduced his motion in order to facilitate council putting this issue to bed after over 1,200 days of back and forth on the issue.
“We have to understand that this is a private piece of property we have no ownership in it,” said Watson. “We have a regulatory role to play and I was pleased that Council took up that leadership role today”
Fleury who introduced the initial motion and Deans who introduced the motion to reconsider say they were both caught off guard by the Mayor’s motion with both saying they believed their plan must have been leaked to the mayor.
Four of the newest members of council released an open letter saying they couldn’t vote for the motion and instead called for the building’s owners, Larco, to withdraw their application instead.
The vote for reconsideration is scheduled to be held at a special meeting of council Thursday at 2 p.m.
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