Niagara Falls might close door on significant housing development: Heritage designations under review in Port Colborne
Niagara Democracy Watch is The Pointer’s weekly feature aimed at increasing the public’s awareness and political involvement in the Niagara Region by highlighting key agenda items, motions and decisions.
Date: October 24 - 4:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Staff recommending refusal of development application that proposes 1,344 dwelling units
Municipal planning staff are recommending City Council refuse an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment that would accommodate 1,344 dwelling units, consisting of 679 detached dwellings, 155 on-street townhouse dwellings, and 510 multi-residential dwelling units, along with commercial uses, parks / trails, and related infrastructure.
The development, on a site approximately 82.9 hectares, includes lands that formerly housed King Waldorf’s Tent and Trailer Park and the Oaklands Golf Club.
Staff is recommending refusal for a number of reasons, stating the application is premature until completion of the Grassy Brook Secondary Plan, that insufficient information has been provided to justify the suitability of the lands, including that it would have no significant negative impact on the Core Natural Heritage System. The City’s Business Development Department, which rarely comments on development applications, stated that the application will negatively impact the businesses located in the nearby Stanley Avenue Business Park.
The proposed development has already created a groundswell of public interest and opposition. Two neighborhood open houses in 2022 were attended by 46 and 53 area residents, respectively, and a number of letters in opposition are included on Tuesday’s agenda.
The developer, Angelo Butera, was denied a zoning by-law amendment by Council for a 5 storey, 74 unit apartment building this past July.
The full staff report can be read here.
Annual Update of OLG Spending and Commitments
The City of Niagara Falls receives funding for hosting two casinos in the community. Revenues from the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) since 2013 have been used for a number of capital investments, including economic development and social service initiatives.
City staff have long maintained that the OLG funding should not be used to subsidize the tax levy. While the subsidy has been gradually reduced in recent years, $5.4 million was allocated to the budget in 2023 and over the 10 years of the agreement, 30 percent of the OLG funds have gone toward property tax subsidization.
Finance staff has provided the annual update on Tuesday’s agenda.
The report can be read here.
Date: October 24 - 6:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Heritage designation conflicts between staff and Heritage Subcommittee
In compliance with the Bill 23 amendments to the Planning Act and Ontario Heritage Act, municipal staff have initiated a project in consultation with the City’s Heritage Subcommittee to review properties on the Heritage Registry that merit proceeding with designation.
Eleven designation requests from property owners have been received from residents and a review of the properties to determine their eligibility for historical designation is moving forward. The Heritage Subcommittee has identified nine additional properties that are worthy of review and designation. Planning staff do not support a review of the additional properties since the property owners have not pursued designation, which could lead to litigation, in the opinion of staff.
The report can be read here.
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