City af­firms land stance

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - FRONT PAGE - RON­ALD ZAJAC Rza­jac@post­

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.

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