Currently, Windsor’s Francis Council is conducting something called the Downtown Windsor Planning Study. They say it is a comprehensive review of the city’s core with the outcome expected to be an updated vision.
It is the usual time waster; an activity instead of action.
Will it even address the real issues? Most likely not because, for the most part, the problems downtown are part and parcel of the actions of the Francis Council.
Most taxpayers know what the problems are. This was certainly exposed in the comments on a Lloyd Brown-John column published in the Windsor Star on July 10. If nothing else, Brown-John put his finger on one of the secrets to building a great downtown; add more residents.
Nothing is being done on that front.
Building permits, Brown-John says, are down. He also criticizes the Francis Council, although he isn’t strong enough to name them, for trying to open the floodgates to an, “… invasion of frugal students … who have a limited capacity to spend big dollars.”
Commentator Ann Dugal says the city hasn’t made the core enticing. Carol Ann Bullis found downtown has, “… nothing except bars and restaurants.” Eric V says the problem is, “… filling all those empty stores.”
Rick Woods chimes in explaining the small independent stores are not able to, “… make it with high rents and taxes.” Meanwhile, Dave Couvillion thinks the council is too quick to, “… embrace the tried and broken rules and ideas of the past. Is it any wonder Windsor lags behind other cities and we are always 20 years behind?”
Brandon Markham opines that if, “… you don’t have a compelling reason to go downtown (ie. shops, restaurants, entertainment, work, residences, etc.), it doesn’t matter how much parking you have.”
Kevin St Julian concludes that no one, “… wants to come downtown with the drugs, blight, garbage, needles, terrible roads, and crackheads.”
These commentators, without the benefits of completing a time consuming study, have nailed it. They know what needs to be done.
All Windsor Council needs to do is add more residential, make the core enticing, diversify its offerings, fill the empty stores, lower taxes, create compelling reasons to go downtown, and clean the place up. City watchers aren’t holding their breath. They know it won’t happen, because it involves hard work and not wasteful studies.
The mere fact Windsor Council is doing a study proves that.
Council, which always knows best, will simply continue along its merry way, cautiously plotting to stay, “20 years behind.”