The provincial Planning Act has the final say on all development in the province, including the town.
Niagara-on-the-Lake’s official plan, although important, does not have the final say.
Development in this town is also controlled by: zoning bylaws, the Municipal Drainage Act, the Heritage Act, the Niagara Parks Commission, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and the Region of Niagara.
Unless a member of council is prepared to familiarize themselves with all of these, they should not be on council.
There are also many other matters in which a councillor must become knowledgeable.
It has been our experience that a number of the past councillors did not do their homework and only relied on staff reports and consultants.
We can only hope that this will not be the case with this new council.
We also have a question about the town’s official plan.
Why does the plan have to coincide with the region’s official plan, when many of the issues that affect our town may not be the same as the rest of the region?
A major challenge for this council is to work with the province on changes or exemptions to the sections of the Planning Act that are having a negative affect on our town.
Sue and Kip Voege