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Niagara Falls
Friday, March 31, 2023
Letter: Unapproved official plan puts NOTL in dangerous spot
Letter. Supplied

Dear editor:

All the NIMBY (not in my backyard) advocates and all those who believe Banana (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything) is a sober reality in today’s world, should rise and thank the current Niagara-on-the-Lake council for not yet having an approved, independently strong official plan.

Council adopted the official plan in 2019 but does not have the authority to approve it – despite what Lord Mayor Betty Disero says in her election brochure, which is completely untrue and misleading.

Not having an approved official plan has put the future of Niagara-on-the-Lake on a precarious footing.

What was likely an issue that got the lord mayor and many councillors elected last time, should now be more closely scrutinized, so the future of NOTL does not crumble under simple political motivations for some to get re-elected, especially when you hear the same messaging over and over again directed to the NIMBY and Banana groups.

NOTL has never been more vulnerable to the ever-looming clouds of provincial authority over local development.

The province has clearly stated it will escalate its control over development under the guise of housing affordability. And a planned Oct. 25 provincial announcement could put NOTL in a dire spot because its official plan remains unapproved.

Even when, or, if the new plan is approved, it could be subject to numerous appeals, leaving NOTL exposed for an even longer period into the future.

A lot of bad development can occur while the failures associated with not having an approved official plan bounce through the jungle of uncontrolled litigation and a provincially controlled tribunal process.

During this time of great uncertainty, NOTL will be exposed to extraordinary and unprecedented levels of imposing new development plans, and the dwindling of rights to independent governance as a unique little town.

In the private sector, we call this an opportune time to clean house. We all have a collective opportunity to protect the future of NOTL and also without the anticipated chronic litigation resulting from a yet-to-be-approved official plan.

Career politicians, under the careful watch of the NIMBY and Banana groups, are inherently unable to get an official plan approved to stop undesired developments, so by default they resort to hiding behind litigation at the cost of taxpayers.

So, it is clear from an objective perspective, one should not vote for ineffective career politicians, but try voting for someone with a proven success track record of effective management experience, who sincerely wishes to manage a collaborative council team that will have a better and likely most honest chance of achieving a straightforward objective: a strong official plan that will preserve the future of NOTL.

We don’t need another four years of ineffective, litigious fighting in this town and listening to hollow NIMBY and Banana promises.

Vote for a greater certainty of achieving a strong and permanently protected NOTL future, without constantly arguing and fighting. That’s why I support Vaughn Goettler for mayor.

Peter Rusin

St. Davids

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