Thursday at the LPAT case management conference, the tribunal heard arguments that one of the appeals — opposing the approval of a parking lot over road salt concerns — should be dismissed.
Launched by the Minnow Lake Restoration Group, represented by John Lindsay, the appeal argues the parking lot approval for the Kingsway Entertainment District failed to follow provincial and local planning policies.
But lawyer Brad Teichman, representing developer Dario Zulich, made several arguments in a 110-minute submission to try and convince the tribunal to eliminate the appeal. Teichman argued the parking lot, in itself, wouldn't add any road salt to the environment. It is the casino and arena that generates traffic, he said.
“No one just builds a parking lot,” he said, they build it to service developments, in this case, the arena and hotel. Those are the real issues.
The parking lot was approved following provincial and local rules for reducing the impact on the environment, Teichman said, based on the expert opinions of city planning staff.
The appeal doesn't present specific arguments that there was an error in the approval, he said, only assertions that some sections of the rules weren't followed.
It amounts to an argument that added salt could present a danger to the environment and water quality – fear and speculation of what could happen, Teichman said, issues outside of the LPAT process.
In response, Lindsay said the appeal has already been vetted and validated by the LPAT last summer, when it certified all the appeals opposing the Kingsway Entertainment District.
He disagreed that the appeal doesn't make the required arguments, and said the formal hearing is when he can make that clear. That's when the tribunal should decide whether his claims have merit, Lindsay said.
The three-person tribunal – vice-chair Christopher Conti, David L. Lanthier and Sarah Jacobs (who was absent Thursday) – said they would release a written decision on the fate of the parking lot appeal sometime before May 5, 2020, when the hearing to actually deal with the appeals has been scheduled.