Oakville Homes

May 26, 2011

Peter Gilgan and Mattamy Homes – are they an Indian Giver? **


Like a spoiled rich child who doesn’t get his way at the local ball game, Peter Gilgan and Mattamy Homes want to take the proverbial ball home in another dispute with the Town of Bracebridge.  Remember the debacle with the flooding basements and the water swept roads where Bracebridge decided to hold back the security deposit to ensure the Mattamy development wasn’t washed away in the spring flood and Mattamy whined about that.  Well, seems big and powerful Mattamy wants to flex its muscle against the Town of Bracebridge again.

As reported in the Cottage Country Now news :

The previous week, the town’s development services committee agreed to allow 80 new homes to be added to the subdivision, but only on the condition that Mattamy performs a study to determine the effect of the new homes on local traffic.

Now, what is wrong with this picture.

Mattamy Homes has a development authorized to proceed and then they come back and ask for another 80 units to be added to the development.  Any urban planner would tell you that this would have an impact on traffic and other aspects of the development.  Any prudent politician, urban planner or, just average citizen, would want to know what the impact will be.  Will there be increased infrastructure costs now and in the future; will pedestrian or automobile safety be negatively impacted upon; will children’s lives be put at risk due to the altered and increased traffic patterns?  Who knows unless some knowledgeable people study this impact.  And, why should the taxpayer pay for this study – Mattamy wants the extra homes.

Now, what is the problem?

As most people know, a developer is required to donate a portion of land to the community.  Mattamy says they have donated more than the required amount and refer to trails etc.  Hey, they are donating land they can’t build on anyways, so what’s the problem?  Yes, they will build the trails but guess who will maintain them.  The taxpayer of course so, this gift isn’t as great as it looks.  It’s the gift that keeps giving.

And, to appear as the benevolent developer who looks after the community and wins awards for it, they donate $60,000 towards a children’s playground.  Kind of makes you all warm and fuzzy.  Me, they try to kill my children with illegal wiring but in Bracebridge they build a park for them.

Oh, wait a minute – the children aren’t really that high in their plans it seems.  Read this comment from planner Greg Corbett – mouthpiece for Mattamy.

“If we have to go ahead with the study we will no longer be able to give $60,000 for the playground development. We believe the town has no authority to ask for it,” said Corbett. “The money for that study has to come from somewhere and there’s only so much to go around.”

So, this gift given to the Town of Bracebridge to look after the community and the children is really only a bargaining chip.  Most people would have appreciated this gift and maybe give their Mattamy built homes a plus in a BILD or J.D. Power and Associates survey but now they find out that it isn’t really a true gift.

I think the average person would agree that since Mattamy wants to upgrade their authorized number of homes, they should pay the freight to have it studied.  They made a deal on the original size, a deal that made them look good.  Some might even think they spiced up the offer to ensure they got authorized, considering how they tried to shaft Bracebridge over the flooding issue.

Mayor Don Coates said the parkland funding has been in place since the subdivision began.

“Mattamy agreed to that during the site plan stage . . . so from a legal perspective I don’t think they can get out of it,” he said. “It was a negotiating tactic on their part.”

Coates said council feels the increase in homes is significant enough to warrant another traffic study.

“We’re happy that Mattamy can bring more families into town, but it does cause some issues regarding traffic,” he said. “The only way to be fair to everyone is to have the study and get some proper answers.”

Now, here is a Mayor that is looking after the taxpayer and kudos to him.  Unlike old skinflint Mattamy who uses children’s safety and happiness as a bargaining chip.  Mattamy’s true colours are coming out on this one.  Nice to see the Town of Bracebridge stand up to Mattamy’s bullying, unlike how the Town of Oakville responded.

Seems to me this mayor has balls, unlike the Oakville mayor who investigated my complaint.

And to think, Mattamy got a BILD award.

** For those into being extremist politically correct in their thinking, I am using the name “Indian Giver” in the traditional North American First Nation context.  First Nation people would give something to someone and expect something in return.  They lived a barter system.  If you had nothing to give in return, you returned the item.  It was a form of trading with the intent that it is returned.  We don’t normally do business in that manner in our culture.  Neither right or wrong, there is a certain expectation in our culture that a gift is a gift.  It begs the question – under what cultural business practices does Mattamy operate?

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirment when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed but do not preclude what happened to me from happening again. Beware.


1 Comment »

  1. Hey friend, I’ve just started my own online presence for my business, but there are some great ideas in the list that I really could do and hadn’t thought of at all. I would like to add this to my real estate FB , not sure how to do it yet, but I will figure it out somehow.

    Comment by downtown toronto condos — April 5, 2012 @ 2:33 am | Reply

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