An important message from Mayor Steinberg about the future value of your homes

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one," Spock in The Wrath of Khan.

For many of us our homes are our largest asset. As your Mayor, I have a duty to do everything I can to protect that value. There are many reasons why Hampstead homes are some of the most expensive on the island. One of the most important is that the homes have a character that we strive to protect and preserve.

Our by-laws and the Planning and Architectural Committee (PAC) are the foundation upon which we rely to protect our beautiful town and the value of our homes. If we ignore our by-laws and the advice of the PAC, the look of the town will deteriorate and with it the value of our homes.

A few months ago a resident came to council with his friends and relatives asking us to disregard our by-law and allow him to double the amount of flat roof from 20% to 40%. This should never be approved because:

1. In the whole history of the town, we had never allowed a derogation to the rule governing flat roofs.

2. Hundreds of beautiful homes have been built in the past while respecting our by-laws and this resident should not have the privilege to benefit more than the others.

3. And most important of all this would set a precedent that would allow residents to ignore any by-law and the recommendations of our PAC, no matter how outrageous and unjustified.

The PAC made a unanimous recommendation NOT to grant the derogation, primarily because of the precedent. Nevertheless, the council voted to grant it because the approval process took too long. The council had previously agreed to listen to the PAC. As Mayor, I have the authority and responsibility to veto a bad decision and I have vetoed this one. However, my veto can be overturned at the next council meeting.

So if you care how your town looks and about the value of your home.
So if you care that your next door neighbor will be able to get a major derogation to make his house huge, high, ugly and too close to yours if council again decides to ignore our by-laws and the recommendations of the PAC.
So if you care that a precedent will be set to allow just about anything to be built changing the character of the town and thus reducing our property values.

Then call, e-mail and/or come to our council meeting April 1 at 8pm in the Community Centre. Let your councillors know how you feel.

Warren Budning, (514) 730-2787.
Jack Edery,, (514) 827-9285.
Leon Elfassy., (514) 622-1818.
Michael Goldwax,, (514) 701-1047.
Harvey Shaffer,, (514) 754-3184.
Cheryl Weigensberg,, (438) 401-7238.

Dr. Bill Steinberg
Mayor, Town of Hampstead