Industry Reports

Greater Sudbury KED Appeals Review Should Not be Accelerated, Council Votes

Kingsway Entertainment District is among the larger Ontario projects that will need more time before it officially launches operation. Greater Sudbury’s recent City Council meeting saw a nixing of the previously proposed motion aiming to accelerate the appeal process before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan introduced this motion with the idea that the Mayor could make a move to eliminate the current stagnation. The Greater Sudbury project was supposed to be under construction at the moment, according to the previously discussed timeline.

However, as it often happens, life gets in the way of plans and completely changes them. As of now, Kingsway Entertainment District is still in its initial stages and all construction work on site has been frozen until appeals are being dealt with. The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal has been stuck ever since November 2019.

Councilor Wants to Speed Up Process

Its appeal review process was supposed to be a much quicker one, as it aimed to bring optimization to the field. In reality, the tribunal replacing Ontario Municipal Board was left with many unsolved outstanding tasks that added up to the 12 appeals filed in relation to the Kingsway Entertainment District.

When all is said and done, the tribunal was left on its own devices with insufficient staff. This is what led to the inevitable halt, a situation that has to be changed. Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan wanted to see a quicker solution and an exit from the current limbo. This led to the motion proposal, prompting Mayor Brian Bigger to make a move and address the issue in front of provincial officials.

The motion asked the Mayor to seek a simpler process and eliminate all further delays in relation to the appeals review process. This was supposed to happen through a collaboration with Ontario Premier Doug Ford who has the authority to propel it. This week saw the official dismissal of this motion via a 7-5 vote.

Premier Should Not Interfere

Coun. Kirwan insisted on clarifying that this motion does not seek Premier Ford’s direct intervening in the work of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Instead, he simply called for the positive influence he could have on the LPAT operation. It was all supposed to have a positive impact on the overall process, something that is going to result in faster results and the ultimate construction start in a timely manner.

Estimations show that the LPAT is going to issue its first results sometime in the fall of this year. Initial plans highlighted that the ultimate decision would be issued by this summer. The motion was nixed and Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland and Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti had thoughts to share on the subject. They pointed out that there is a mandatory process that should be taken into account and closely followed.

There are major companies such as Gateway Casinos & Entertainment that are involved in the process and would see benefits from the results. Taking into account investors such as Dario Zulich also part of the project, there is no need to rush the review process. The five councilors that voted with a Yes were Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc, Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann, Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo, Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer, and Mr. Kirwan himself.