City affirms land stance
City hall is reaffirming its support for zoning measures aimed at turning a stretch of north-end land into a new industrial park, in the face of an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) appeal.
Brockville council is scheduled to vote Tuesday evening on a motion advising the OMB it is sticking to its guns.
“The Council of the Corporation of the City of Brockville reiterates its unanimous support for the project and by-laws related thereto, and requests that an expedited hearing be scheduled, including a Prehearing Conference,” notes the wording of the motion added to the council agenda on Monday.
The motion further affirms that bylaws recently adopted by council conform to the city’s official plan.
B rockville has acquired 130 acres of land along Victoria Road, Parkedale Avenue West and Stewart Boulevard with the aim of creating a new commercial and industrial park.
Within that area, the city is looking at 39.5 hectares (97.6 acres) of land that could be developed in the near future, broken into three phases.
City council voted on Sept. 26 to adopt a “secondary plan report” on the potential industrial park, as well as official plan and zoning bylaw amendments needed to turn the area into employment lands.
The decision moves the city closer to marketing the north-end land to potential developers, a measure that is called for in the 2018 budget plan.
Opponents of the planned industrial park formed the group Citizens for Progress without Hardship (CPH), whose chairman, Garth McGill, recently filed the OMB appeal.
McGill has said the rationale for the appeal includes, but is not limited to, “the premature nature of the bylaw and official plan adoptions as many issues remain unresolved, mapping errors and inconsistency between the by-laws and official plan.”
C PH members have also expressed concerns over hydro geology and species at risk.
The group has also been sharply critical of the September meeting at which the zoning measures were approved, arguing McGill did not get enough time to lay out CPH’s objections and a large volume of reports put out days before the vote amounted to a data dump.
City officials have, in response, stressed that city hall has followed proper procedures and due process, arguing much of the information in those reports was old information reissued.
Mayor David Henderson has repeatedly stressed that the city needs the new industrial land to attract new employers and that CPH has had ample time to air its objections, adding those objections were considered and rejected by council.
CPH and city hall are in agreement on one point, however: Both sides agree an expedited OMB process is preferable.