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First decision on Kingsway arena/casino appeals still weeks away

Provincial body must first review appeals to decide whether to reject them, or proceeding to hearings
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KingswayEntertainmentDistrict
While the goal of the province's Local Planning Appeals Tribunal is to take 30 days to conduct initial reviews of appeals, in the case of the Kingsway Entertainment District, things are likely going to take a little longer. (File)

While the goal of the province's Local Planning Appeals Tribunal is to take 30 days to conduct initial reviews of appeals, in the case of the Kingsway Entertainment District, things are likely going to take a little longer.

The LPAT received the appeals in the third week of May, seeking to stop the rezoning needed to build a new arena and parking lot. A proposal to amend the city's Official Plan to allow the casino to proceed on the site is also being appealed.

The body, set up late last year to replace the Ontario Municipal Board, aims to make decisions sooner and give more weight to decisions by local councils. Unlike the OMB, the LPATs won't start from scratch when hearing a case, but instead will look for mistakes in the planning decision. The goal is to get a decision within 12 months at a maximum.

The first step in the process is for the tribunal to review appeals and determine within 30 days if there are issues serious enough with the decision to proceed to a full hearing. In Sudbury's case, that would mean a decision would have to be made sometime next week.

But on Friday, LPAT spokesperson Becky Fong said the review is still ongoing.

"The validation process has just started and isn't completed yet," Fong said. "This one in particular is a little bit more complicated ... (so) sometimes we need more information. But the goal is 30 days."

There are 12 people appealing the four planning decisions: the one to allow the arena; one to allow the parking lot; one to change the Official Plan to allow the casino; and another rezoning to allow the casino.

Fong said if the appeals pass through the vetting process, the first step would be a hearing with the parties to see if a settlement is possible.

"After that, depending on how that goes, there would be a full hearing," she said.




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