'I should buy a lottery ticket': Man who had restaurant taken for LRT construction now faces losing half of his property
Published Tuesday, November 19, 2019 6:35PM EST
KITCHENER – We know the route, we've seen the plan. Now it's time to hear from the public on the proposed route for Ion Stage Two.
Slated to impact some 256 properties, some residents are raising concerns.
At least one million-dollar home in Hidden Valley will need to be knocked down and two others will be affected in order to accommodate the proposed route.
Menosh Hakim bought his home on Hidden Valley Road 11 years ago.
"That's the best location that I got in Kitchener," he explains.
"I paid a couple bucks extra just to get the view, like from every window I get the river view."
He says that the plans for the Ion call for a retaining wall which will eliminate his view altogether.
The region is looking to have the next stage of the LRT run through Hidden Valley on its way from Kitchener to Cambridge.
"It cuts right through my property and my property will be almost divided in half," Hakim says.
This isn't his first encounter with Ion construction: two years ago, his restaurant was torn down for stage one.
"Two years ago they took my restaurant, the Crabby Joe's on Fairway Road, and nothing has been done so far for the LRT. My lawyer says I should buy a lottery ticket."
While 215 parcels of land and 41 properties will need to be acquired for the route, the region says it will do so fairly.
"Nobody is going to be put out on terms of the value of their property, so I don't think people should be concerned about that," says the region's senior engineer, Matthew O'Neil.
"It's not based on a tax assessment, it's not based on an old appraisal. It's based on the time of the acquisition, so fair market value."
Still, the Ion's next phase is leaving many living in Hidden Valley upset, even though construction won't begin for another decade.
Hakim says he would rather have his property levelled than cut in half. He and several other neighbourhood residents will be meeting with the region on Wednesday at a public information session.