EDITORIAL: Bowling for dollars

If you dig and keep digging you don’t get to China; you get to a bowling alley.

At least that’s what Onni development group is hoping after they dug out an extra 7,800 square feet in their Central Lonsdale project.

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They’re hoping to fill that space with a bowling alley, even though – as a staff report tactfully puts it – bowling wasn’t “originally contemplated” in the massive CentreView development at 13th and Lonsdale that council approved in 2013.

As a rule, this newspaper has a decidedly pro-bowling bias, but it seems something is amiss with an application surfacing just months before Onni is hoping to wrap up construction at the former Safeway site.
Onni won the right to build their two towers and the accompanying 40,000 square feet of commercial space on the site but nothing more.

We would expect bylaw officers to be unmerciful if a resident allowed a rooster in his chicken coop, smoked within 7.5 metres of a vape shop, or forgot to mention the kitchen, bathroom and mother-in-law in his garage.

We submit the city should be equally unsparing in this case. Developers must ask the city for permission, not forgiveness. We’d also suggest the $275,940 Onni is offering to pay for waterfront density is a shot in the gutter.

With a $150-million rebuild of Harry Jerome looming and a new sewage plant to pay for, it’s crucial the city wring as much out of this deal as possible.

We hope to see bowling in Central Lonsdale.

We also hope that the next developer will heed the advice from that old commercial.

Call before you dig.

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