Good morning Regina!!!
Well, the past 48 hours have been, to say the least, interesting on Twitter. If you don't have Twitter, or you don't follow me on Twitter, you really, really should get into it. At least for the lively discussions that happen on there! If you haven't been paying attention to the news or City Council over the past few days, something that has caused some eyebrows to be raised is the application for a new Night Club on Albert Street - right next door to the Regina Chamber of Commerce and a Chiropractic Clinic. Nothing says "Party Hard" like being stuck between two businesses of this nature!
So, these "lively discussions" on Twitter began on Tuesday, I believe, when the Metro printed an article that outlined some honest concerns by Mr. Adam Sperling, Owner of the Slow Pub and La Bodega. Both places that I have rarely if ever visited before, but may make it my #1 priority to frequent going forward. Why? Well, simply out of spite for these know-it-alls that seem to think the rules don't apply to them, who are opening said night club across the street. Why do I take such a hard stance on this you ask? Well, read on my friends, read on!
Speaking towards the Metro article that the owners of the proposed night club found so offensive (http://metronews.ca/news/regina/678397/improved-city-planning-needed-for-regina-business-parking-pub-owner-says/), you will find that there are specific parking bylaws that these new owners are being asked to "be relaxed" by quite a significant amount. As far as renovations go, I am not sure what the deal is there, as to how much has been done or how much hasn't, and honestly - no one's shown us the top floor yet. HOWEVER, the owners of said building are alleging that the Metro told lies in this story, which - when I read the story - seems to be completely inaccurate. If anything, it's more about the fact that these new owners are upset that the Metro dared to report a story without getting "their version" of the story first. They've even gone so far as to call the Metro out on Twitter, saying that "they didn't even try to get a hold of us" - because apparently, they are the easiest people to get in contact with. That's a direct quote from them. Apparently, if you believe you are easily approachable, and the media says they couldn't get in contact with you, then they must be lying - dammit.
So, after I asked these guys what their side of the story was, here's how I have managed to make sense of what they've responded with:
1) The new owners - Derek Wu, Colter Wood, Jim Demeray and Trevor Anderson - are upset because the Metro reported that there are four owners and not three. To me, this is silly, childish and something they shouldn't even be bitching about. I've got photo evidence that proves that there may be others involved - not that I really give a shit, nor should anyone, other than to prove these owners wrong in their accusations of being unfairly "attacked" by the Metro.
UPDATE: In follow up to my post, I've been informed that Mr. Jim Demeray is actually not an owner but the landlord. With that said, again, this is a trivial matter, and really not something anyone should bicker over or make a big deal out of. HOWEVER - I'm not sure how many typical landlords attend a "celebration party" for their tenants success of bypassing a bylaw. (I'm having issues uploading photos - but suffice it to say, Mr. Demeray was at the celebration)
2) These new owners appear to be upset that they think Mr. Sperling is more concerned about competition, than the actual issue at hand, which is parking - or lack thereof. At first, I didn't fully understand this problem, but after reading more today, it makes perfect sense.
2a) The new business requires minimum 12 parking stalls for customers. Of which they have only "three" on-site (behind the bldg - more intended for staff than customers - but whatever, semantics). They also allegedly have an "agreement" with the Chamber of Commerce (which nobody has bothered to show the public other than the verbal diarreha that comes out of Mr. Hopkins mouth - be careful believing anything you hear from that guy is all I'm saying), that the Chamber is "allowing" them allegedly "exclusive access" to their six (or three depending on news reports today) spots in the back of THEIR building. So, you either have 6 or 9 "on site" parking spots. Leaving 3 or 6 to be addressed - which is where this bylaw comes in and talks about "caveated parking", and how it has to be within a certain distance (30M).
The parking that these owners have approached Impark about is actually 75M away, more than double the allowable distance. They are asking that this bylaw be "relaxed", and say it's "standard operating procedure" and that the Slow Pub owners also had the same treatment. I haven't had a chance to talk with Mr. Sperling yet, but if this is the case, then it opens the question as to why has this bylaw not been reviewed since that time. Of note, however, is that Slow Pub also has an actual parking lot in front of it, where it is pretty obvious that it is customer parking, not employee parking, where this new night club does not.
2b) The issue I see that Mr. Sperling has, and understandably so, is that he is concerned that the patrons of this new night club will park in his lot and walk across the street. Not only taking spaces away for his actual clientelle, but potentially taking customers away from his business. Yes, that's competition, but it's about far more than that. He should not have to be forced to tow cars from the lot - and the City DOES play a role in this - by ensuring that they adhere to the bylaws that are set out for this very purpose.
3) This issue exploded on Twitter over the last 48 hours. Why? Because of the actual bylaw issues that these guys are blatantly getting at least preferred treatment? A situation where this application should NOT be approved at least until all those issues are cleared up first - none of this "Subject to" bullshit? NOPE. It's because they are pissed off. And, well, they have connections in this City. Well known connections. And, well, when you dare to challenge these people - in their "clique" - you are automatically labelled an asshole, and you are the devil. Whether it be the Metro for reporting "not all views", or Slow Pub for complaining that they are not abiding by the written Bylaws. Who is in this clique? Some pretty heavy hitters. I won't get into name-dropping in here, just suffice it to say - I'm not surprised one bit by ANY of the individuals involved in their "clique". And you thought High School was bad? Now we're playing with real money and real life issues that affect people's livelihoods. Oh - and tax dollars.
There might be those that say I am biased because of who is in their "clique" - and no I am not. I don't care who you are, or who your family are, or what connections you think you have in this City. I don't care how much weight you think you hold in this City (because of the "tax dollars you represent" - Mr. John Hopkins, CEO of Chamber direct quote), you do not get special treatment by those in this City just because you think you should. I am disgusted at these people's behaviour, and embarassed they are living in our City, let alone representing it on a National and International scale.
In the end - what lesson have I learned from daring to ask legitimate questions of these new owners? By the way, there was only one reasonable person who actually kept his cool with the many questions thrown out - Derek Wu, I must congratulate him on that. DO NOT CHALLENGE THE FOLKS IN THIS CLIQUE - if you don't want your business/media outlet to be swarmed with hate mail/negative "word of mouth" through Social Media, etc/attacks/boycotting etc. by those "powers that be" in this City. Sadly, the Prairie Dog Magazine experienced this with the last Mayor, but I think it's gotten better (??) with Mayor Fougere. Sadly, there are other media outlets in this City that appear to be more inclined to be speaking podiums for the City and these "powers that be" than anything else. I commend the Metro AND Prairie Dog for not being afraid to tell it like it is. It may not flatter everyone, but news is not meant to be flattering. It's meant to tell a story. It's meant to tell the truth. Regardless of empty threats by the City and/or their "elitist clique" that they will (OMG) pull their advertising dollars from you if you DARE print anything that offends them. Big fucking babies is what these "Powers that be" are.
The one name I will drop here is Chelsea Manz of RealRadio.ca - I won't say much on here, but just go check out her Twitter account if you get a chance (@chelsea_manz). It's truly unfortunate that this promising up and coming business venturist is making some pretty disturbing comments towards myself, and she's only hurting herself and her business more than anything by her explosive Tweets over the last 24 hours. All because she didn't like that her buddy was being challenged with actual questions. Sorry Chelsea - I call them as I see them, and if you don't like it, then have fun with your buddies when Regina finally does get cleaned up of this bullshit by your "friends" that you think you have in Regina.
Have a great Regina Day everyone!!!!