I hate to see the struggles of my friend Geoff and his family.
- Family plight sparks furor in the Beach – National Post
- Love and houses – family tradegy shapes a living space – The Globe & Mail
- 204 Beech Ave – A house or a home? – Open File
- My Take on 204 Beech – Jim Graham
The article at Open File identifies the closed black box nature that makes this so difficult. If this were a functioning court of law, the Teehans would at least have the opportunity to confront their accusers and see the evidence submitted. However, this backroom politicking leaves the taste of a councillor abusing her power. Ms. Bussin should be removed from office and a formal inquiry called into her behaviour.
Bussin says she has received “a number of emails and calls concerned about the future of that particular house,” as well as an online petition. She said she couldn’t give exact numbers of how many people were concerned.
These concerns led her to get an independent opinion of the property. She consulted ERA Architects, Inc., a firm the city regularly works with for heritage conservation issues.
In the undated document ERA Architects prepared for Bussin, Michael McClelland, a principal with the firm, “confirms” that the 204 Beech Ave. property has heritage value. He cites that it is a “Beach Cottage” type home with “typical elements found in buildings representative of the Cottage style.” He adds that a “recessed fully glazed entry porch, the rendered finish, and irregular pattern of fenestration are important elements of the dwellings character.”
This is a terrible, selfish abuse of power by Sandra Bussin. Jim Graham gets it right, it is not the role of the city or the neighbours to determine what the Teehan’s can do with their home. If Ms. Campbell wants to be upset with individuals for not making this property a heritage property, it’s her own parents who had the chance before they sold the home. This is a fight for property rights. And we need to make sure as home owners that we do not live in fear of rogue politicians or expatriates or anyone else.
“The more this situation unfolds the clearer it becomes this isn’t about modern vs traditional, new vs old or even about the accessibility requirements. This is about property rights. We did our due diligence, we bought the property and are submitting plans without easements or variances. Now a neighbour who doesn’t want her view changed and a women who lived in the house decades ago and resides in Germany have more control over our property than we do. This isn’t something that residents of our neighbourhood should be worried about, this is something Toronto and many parts of Canada should be worried about.” – comment by Geoff Teehan on Open File
What a disgraceful display and an abuse of power by a Toronto councillor! Ms. Bussin you should be ashamed.