Wednesday, December 12, 2018

More Misinformation About the KED Coming From City Hall

The attached screencap was shared with me recently, along with some questions about whether Councillor Kirwan is being honest with people in his Valley East group about what's actually going on with the so-called "Kingsway Entertainment District".
Without question, there are several significant untruths in this post from December 10, 2018 that need to be corrected. I have underlined in red the specific areas that I'll address here.

First, with regards to the LPAT process being "on schedule" - nothing could be further from the truth. At the Case Management Conference in early November at which both Councillor Kirwan and I attended, the Tribunal members were clear - the whole process was being put on hold pending resolution of a matter referred to Divisional Court related to the LPAT's powers and authorities in a case known as "Rail Deck Park". Until those matters are resolved, the clock that ticks away for the LPAT to make a decision is paused. The process is not "on schedule" - stuff's still going on, but there can't be a resolution until Rail Deck is resolved, and that's completely out of anyone's hands here in Sudbury.
Here's a screenshot of a part of the LPAT's "Notice of Postponement" that pauses the process.

Second, I have seen no requirement that the hotel that is intended to be located on site will be the "largest in the City" - it is completely out of the realm of reality to insist that this will come to pass - especially since there is no group that has stepped forward to build a hotel at this time. The Councillor's statement here, which he passes off as fact, is made without evidence and is at best conjecture, and at worst something quite different.
Third, there absolutely is no "120 acre commercial subdivision". It does not exist. It is a figment of the Councillor's imagination. There is no question that the 'subdivision' (which still is not approved by the City) is a plan of subdivision for industrial uses. It is designated General Industrial in the City's official plan. It is zoned with a number of industrial zoning categories - some of which permit commercial uses, but not as primary uses. There is no application in front of the City to change the designation of the lands from General Industrial to anything else (except for the lands subject to the LPAT appeals for a casino, arena and parking lot).
Don't believe me?  The following is from the City's submission to the LPAT.  
Still think this is about an "Entertainment District"? Because that's not the case that the City is advancing in order to see the casino, arena and parking lot approved.
I speculate that the Councillor made this statement about the subdivision being for "commercial" uses because of the fourth matter here where he writes about commercial taxation. Again, there is no plan for any further commercial uses in the subdivision beyond a casino and the parking lot (which could be considered a commercial use as it will require people to pay to park there, as per the zoning by-law amendment filed by the applicant Zulich and approved by the City).
In June, 2018, the City approved the 5-year update to its official plan. If there was any actual vision for a "Kingsway Entertainment District" beyond an arena, casino and parking lot, there would have been changes to the General Industrial designation to facilitate new uses like a motorsports park, additional ice pad, etc. But there were no changes made. The plan continues to be to develop industrial uses in the industrial subdivision. Yes, it is true that at some point, that could change via a new amendment to the Plan - but that runs the risk of further appeal, and further time to resolve matters. The City is certainly not "prepared to grow" entertainment or commercial uses on the balance of the subject lands.
Why is Councillor Kirwan promoting this false narrative? It is so incredibly frustrating, but the fact of the matter is that a number of our City's elected officials have gone out of their way to be untruthful about this project, and to hide information from the public, and to try to shut the public out of the decision-making process. And when they are called out, they have invariably blamed others and claimed that there is an active misinformation campaign being waged by KED opponents.
I agree that there is an active misinformation campaign being waged - but it's coming from City Hall.

(opinions expressed in this blog are my own and should not be interpreted as being consistent with the views and/or policies of the Green Parties of Ontario and Canada)

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