Thank you to the “people’s” councillors (Tim Balasiuk, Gary Burroughs, Wendy Cheropita, Maria Mavridis and Sandra O’Connor), who passed a motion against the town staff’s recommendation to approve the King Street condo/apartment proposal.
The town planning department’s ill-advised recommendation made light of the developer’s request for a 277 per cent increase in density and failed to recognize that this gross overdevelopment isn’t required to meet our intensification goals.
Councillor Burroughs established the fact that we are well-positioned to meet our intensification goals (population growth of 9,900 by 2051) based on the current proposed and known projects in the pipeline.
Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa opposed the motion.
He demonstrated that his personal opinion supersedes the fact the community is adamantly opposed to the proposed development, which is wildly inconsistent with the official plan.
During Zalepa’s run for the leadership of council, he campaigned on adopting the official plan and “listening more.”
In this instance, he failed on both accounts.
Our official plan has now established the accepted and reasonable plans for the future development of Niagara-on-the-Lake in a way that best serves the needs of its residents. It must be respected.
I would like to thank the councillors who had the courage and insight to support the motion by Councillor O’Connor.
The NOTL official plan was years in the making. It is a contract among the town, our represented officials and the residents.
I’d like to ask all our town council to respect the wishes of our community and the integrity of our official plan in the future to preserve the quality of life that our residents deserve.
I’d also like to thank those developers who work with the town and community in the context of the official plan.
Their projects get approved quickly with limited extra expenses, completed much faster and have solid community support.