Like all communities way-back-when, it was believed that man could engineer nature better than nature could. Which has led to some unbelievable fuck-ups and nasty legacy issues. Many of these measures were designed to make water flow "more efficient", i.e. concrete ditches could remove more water than a twisty natural stream. Of course this had side effects, loss of biodiversity, increase in run-off chemicals being dumped into our systems without any filtration whatsoever, etc. etc.
So now we are trying to undo much of this damage of decades of stupidity. Sometimes though, our eagerness to fix the situation gets the best of us and all reason is tossed out the window.
George Anagnostopolous has some valuable real estate in the heart of Cambridge's commercial district. He has a large swath of land that remains undeveloped. But because a natural stream was turned into a concrete ditch way-back-when, the region, the city, and the Grand River Conservation authority are preventing development on much of the property due to flood plain concerns and other such water management issues.
To help illustrate, here is a satellite image of the property in question:
(click to embiggen)
The red line outlines the property, the light blue line the engineered ditch.
Now look at all the surrounding properties. All of them are developed right up to the edge of the ditch. It is at this point that I have to agree with Mr. Anagnostopolous. What difference could it possibly make now?
If the governmental bodies involved truly want to make a difference in the management of this ditch, they will have to expropriate property from all the businesses on either side of the ditch for its entire length. We all know that ain't gonna happen.
So let him sell the property as if it could be fully developed. From where I sit, the businesses wishing to build will do so somewhere else. Cambridge is fast-growing community. Let them build where the situation is already fucked-up rather than having them fuck-it-up somewhere else.