Kingsway Entertainment District would need some time before it officially launches operation, but events surrounding it never cease to emerge. Ontario Divisional Court recently issued its position on the legislation of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal that has the task to tackle appeals related to the new Greater Sudbury project. The Court ruled that it is valid legislation, which leaves many uncertainties down the road.
The main task that the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal has is to ensure that all appeals filed are reviewed in a timely manner and the entire process is sped up. More than 12 months ago, it was created in order to replace the Ontario Municipal Board and optimize the review process. The board was renowned for its slow operation that needed a boost and a breath of fresh air. However, expectations rarely meet reality.
KED Appeals Could Soon See Ruling
As it turned out soon after its launch of operation, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal struggles to keep up with the pace of work. Its lack of resources and the leftover work slowly but surely burdened the review process. Projections were that it is going to iron out everything before the beginning of this summer.
Earlier this spring it became clear that the process could extend all the way to the fall months and the end of 2019. Ontario lawmakers decided it is time to revive some of the Ontario Municipal Board elements down the road. Now the most recent ruling would inevitably affect future operation of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, especially in relation to Kingsway Entertainment District.
The particular case that prompted the new ruling is the Rail Deck Park plans in Toronto that controversially crosses previously issued plans of private developers. In relation to it, the provincial Divisional Court ruled that lawyers would not be allowed to cross-examine witnesses linked to the case, as well as individuals with affidavits on the subject.
Transition Back to OMB Features Would Be Smooth
Lawyers in court would also not be allowed to bring discovered pieces of evidence at future hearings if such is not sought by the LPAT. For the time being, Greater Sudbury finds it hard to estimate the scope of impact this ruling is going to have on the future operation of the tribunal. There is a possibility that the current period of stagnation could come to an end, as all obstacles could be removed.
Ever since November 2018, the review process of KED appeals has been stuck in a limbo that gives no signs of resolution. For the time being, Greater Sudbury officials dedicate their time to a detailed review of the new ruling before they issue their official position. LPAT is bracing for the changes that are about to take place soon. The individuals taking care of appeals is going to nearly double, guaranteeing more eyeballs and force put into the work.
The transition back to some of the resources used by the Ontario Municipal Board would have to be a smooth one with more details issued in the upcoming weeks. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Attorney General are going to work in collaboration for the easy transfer. Locals appellants are hopeful this optimization would also save them some cash they are currently pouring into the process.