Following a victory in Superior Court, the City of Greater Sudbury was again defending its process in approving and advancing plans with the Kingsway Entertainment District.
Ontario's Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) reconvened on the Kingsway Entertainment District for final oral arguments on all issues on Sept. 17. A second day, Sept. 18, was reserved, but it will not be needed, as submissions wrapped up today.
LPAT vice-chair David Lanthier has reserved his decision following a full day of arguments from both sides. There was no introduction of new evidence, no witnesses gave testimony, and no cross examination took place. Lawyer Gordon Petch is representing Tom Fortin and Casino Free Sudbury. Fortin maintains the city was biased when it approved the Kingsway site in April 2018 and that the KED site was not properly rezoned. The Superior Court ruled against Fortin's application to quash four bylaws related to the KED.
Petch said they plan to appeal a Superior Court decision that ruled against the group.
Also appealing the KED project is the Downtown BIA, as well as a group led by Christopher Duncanson-Hales, and resident Steve May.
Duncanson-Hales is joining the appeal of the Official Plan amendment to permit the casino, as well as the appeal of the rezoning required to permit the casino. Finally, another activist, May, has joined the appeal of the rezoning to permit a public arena.
Petch said in his submissions his clients represent small business owners in the downtown who would be adversely affected by building the KED. He said there is an incredible amount of long-term involvement with the downtown from the community. Many people have invested time, money and demonstrated their commitment to this issue and its effect on the downtown, he said.
Representing the City of Greater Sudbury is lawyer Steve Watt. He was joined by counsel for Gateway Casinos.
Watt said the appellants have failed to point to any specific area where the city contravened any of the bylaws, and there is no clear conflict with any of the policies.
He said the Superior Court concluded the bylaws permit development outside of the downtown area, and that the applicants have failed to persuade the judge of any of their claims, and that the tribunal should rely on those findings in its decision.
“ It’s a pretty straightforward set of bylaws,” Watt said.
Lanthier said he will take some time to decide whether he will deliver his decision following the intended appeal of the Superior Court ruling.