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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Letter of the Week: No consequences for developer not responding to town
Letter writer Sheila Serio says the system must be backwards if a developer can go directly to the tribunal without responding to public feedback. RICHARD HARLEY/MIDJOURNEY

Dear editor:

Regarding your story, “Contentious King Street condo project appealed to land tribunal,” (Nov. 30), despite all the presentations and arguments against this development to members of town council, they were unable to make a decision?

The whole article focuses on town councillors crying, “This isn’t our fault. The developer didn’t respond to our questions.”

Planning expert Pierre Filion naively says that despite the fact the developer was able to run out the clock by not responding to the town’s comments by the deadline, he ”wouldn’t call it a flaw in the system.”

I think the people in town would wholeheartedly disagree with this statement – because it certainly seems to be flawed.

The message to all developers is just don’t answer or respond to the town, let the deadline pass and you can get what you want. The Ontario Land Tribunal will give you what you want.

The whole system is backward: It seems to me if the developer doesn’t answer the town’s questions, the issue should be dropped, not allowed to go to the Ontario Land Tribunal, which will likely allow the builder to do what he wants.

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake chief planner Kirsten McCauley says staff recommendations on the project “will likely come to council in a closed session” because the project is subject to legal proceedings.

Coun. Gary Burroughs was the only councillor to state ”this is a mistake.”  So, is this a decision by the councillors to go behind closed doors or is this really because it is subject to legal proceedings?

This decision affects many people who are extremely upset about the town’s handling of this issue and many other developments in town.

Let’s watch and see how many other development projects go to the Ontario Land Tribunal because the developer won’t or can’t provide timely feedback to the town’s questions.

Sheila Serio

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