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#1 2013-10-23 19:53:19

Registered: 2008-02-06
Posts: 416

The City is heading to the OMB following an appeal by POL Quality Home

Hiring outside planner deemed necessary after city council didnít follow in-house recommendation 0   

Donal O'Connor, The Beacon Herald

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:16:04 EDT PM

The city is headed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and intends to hire an outside planner to defend councilís stand against a proposed residential development on St. Vincent St.

That didnít sit well with several members of council during a special meeting, but after some wrangling and a couple of divided votes on just how to proceed, a majority of council gave the green light for the cityís solicitor to retain a qualified professional planner.

Coun. Bonnie Henderson objected to the estimated spending for defending council's position, which was contrary the advice from city planning staff.

ďWhy would we spend $20,000 on this,Ē she asked.

That point of view found support from councillors Kerry McManus, Brad Beatty and Tom Clifford.

ďI don't support spending one cent on it,Ē said Clifford.

There was an attempt to limit the city solicitor to defending councilís stand without the benefit of a planner but that didnít stand.

Councillors opposed to the residential project pointed out it is the cityís duty to defend councilís position, even if that happens to be contrary to the view taken by the planning department.

Complicating the positioning within council Tuesday was the absence of several council members, including Mayor Dan Mathieson and councillors Keith Culliton and Karen Smythe. Also absent was Coun. Martin Ritsma, who had declared a conflict.

Normally the municipality would use its own planning staff to present evidence and defend its position in a relatively simple rezoning dispute, but in this instance city council took a position contrary to planning staff.

A planning report on the proposed development from Pol Quality Homes recommended approval of the project, which includes the conversion of the former Portia school building into apartments. However, council is backing neighbours, including the nearby Stackpole International factory, who opposed the development. Stackpole has objected to the project based on concerns about future noise complaints that might come its way from new residents around the factory. Traffic impacts and a proposed reduction of landscaped open space have also been raised as issues.

The matter returned to council this week following an appeal to the OMB from the developer.

Jeff Leunissen, manager of development services, explained that because of the appeal to the OMB, there was a requirement that council reaffirm its position.

You Can't Fix Stupid!



#2 2013-10-23 20:58:36

Registered: 2011-11-11
Posts: 127

Re: The City is heading to the OMB following an appeal by POL Quality Home

Just posted this same comment earlier - I am sooooooo glad I no longer pay taxes in Stratford!  Whack-a-doodle!



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