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Niagara Falls
Sunday, July 14, 2024
Letter: Parliament Oak plan undermines town’s strategic goals
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

The Niagara Foundation presented to council last Tuesday about a proposed land use change for 325 King St., the former location of Parliament Oak school.

We would like to repeat and confirm our position.

The Niagara Foundation objects to this proposed change of use because it will drastically and permanently reduce the amount of land where residents (current and future) access community services, and where residents learn, experience traditions and build culture in their community.

This property is identified for community use in the official plan and it should remain so.

We object to the proposed change in land use and zoning for the following reasons:

There are many hotels, bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals in Old Town that support our local tourism industry — with more already approved for construction.

Several areas of Niagara-on-the-Lake offer commercial land where more lodging facilities could be built, without requiring the loss of community use land.

The land at 325 King St. is the second-last large piece of community use property in the Old Town area.

If it is converted to general commercial, the former hospital site on Wellington Street will be the only remaining land parcel in Old Town set aside for community use.  A decision should not be made about land use at 325 King St. until the future of the former hospital site has been determined.

The town has not yet completed a parks and recreation master plan. It is impossible to say that 325 King St. is not needed for parks and recreation (or for other community uses) without having a master plan in place.

NOTL is growing and includes a wide range of community and cultural organizations that need more space to exist.

Council included the word “community” in two pillars of the town’s strategic plan. The proposal to change 325 King St. to general commercial use is unnecessary, premature and undermines council’s own strategic goals.

We hope for a more positive outcome at the June 25 council meeting, when this application will be on the agenda.

Lyle Hall
Chair
The Niagara Foundation

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