Both parties in the ongoing debate regarding the planned Greater Sudbury’s Kingsway Entertainment District development are eagerly expecting November 6th, 2018. The date was chosen by the province’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) for an obligatory public meeting to be held.
The meeting, called a Case Management Conference, will be held as the next step after the new land use appeals regulatory body confirmed that the appeals which were rolled out by the opponents of the arena and casino are valid. According to the LPAT, the case requires enough facts and evidence to be gathered, and the two parties need to try to find a way for mediation.
So far, four appeals have been filed. All of them are linked to one another, but regard different issues associated with the casino project.
Tom Fortin, one of the Sudbury business owners who is among the opponents of the project and leads the local Casino Free Sudbury group that opposes the city’s intentions to host a Gateway Casinos’ venue in the Kingsway Entertainment District, has described the meeting in November as a good sign for the ones who hope to see the casino and arena project stopped. Mr. Fortin also told CBC News that the opponents of the project never intended to slow down the process, but to fully stop the project. According to him, the timeline for the LPAT decision process could offer the newly-elected city council a chance to possibly make a different decision.
As far as the tribunal’s decision is concerned, Mr. Fortin does not believe in mediation as a possible way to resolve the issue. What he expects is a final decision whether the project will proceed as initially planned, or it will not. Mr. Fortin reminded that under the Planning Act, the city is obliged to be in line with the official plan as far as growth and development are concerned. In addition, the city also needs to follow the provincial policy statements regarding its growth and development.
Developer of Casino Project Remains Calm about Project’s Fate
Earlier this year, Sudbury’s City Council greenlighted the rezoning procedure which was required for the Kingsway Entertainment District’s construction.
Still, despite the fact that it got the City Council’s permission, the casino project needs the permission of the court, due to the ongoing battle of the proponents and opponents of the new casino.
Regardless of the opposition faced by the casino project, the developer who owns the Kingsway land upon which the project is set to be developed, remains calm about the fate of the project. He said that the casino project owners were aware of the fact that they would face some hard time from anti-casino campaigners. He also shared his confidence that the project would be finally given the green light in order for the development to be brought to the next stage of the process.