Update regarding Niagara-on-the-Lake land use planning topics

Click here for previous posts regarding Niagara-on-the-Lake >

New Rand Estate designs

I owe thanks to Mike James of Niagara-on-the-Lake for sharing with me a link from a Jan. 29, 2020 Niagara Now article entitled: “Exclusive: Marotta unveils new Rand Estate designs.”

You can read the article by clicking on the link at the previous sentence.

The article notes that a new plan for the Rand Estate has been submitted to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The height of the proposed hotel has been reduced to five storeys, and is described by the developer as contributing to the local cultural heritage landscape. Plans are in place, as well, to preserve the Randwood house.

Other news from Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL)

I’ve also learned from Mike James that an open house – an information session regarding the NOTL Council’s proposed “Community Planning Permit System” – will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Council Chambers.

The proposed community planning permit system would seek to enable better management of development for the Niagara-on-the-Lake community.

The town needs to pass a special bylaw to put such a system into place.. The Feb. 18, 2020 meeting, the first legal step the Council must taken in order to implement such a system, will explain the idea and take questions and seek feedback from residents.

A subsequent March 9, 2020 official Public Meeting will follow.

Always advisable to double check the location and time.

A draft of the proposed bylaw has been posted on the Town’s website. Key parts include:

6. A Community Permit System provides the municipality with tools to ensure that new buildings are compatible with the existing community character through conditions related to the exterior design of buildings, and to secure streetscape improvements such as landscaping, street furniture and bicycle parking facilities, as well as providing for flexible development standards encouraging the development of more compatible developments than would otherwise be permitted.

7. A Community Permit System provides the municipality with tools allowing for enhanced natural and cultural heritage protection, by allowing for conditions pertaining to vegetation removal and site alteration, as well as the conservation and protection of cultural heritage resources.

Overhaul of Local Planning Appeal Tribunal system

There’s also been discussion among NOTL residents about the overhaul of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) system.

What’s happening with LPAT is of interest; I’ve written a post about the changes:

May 3, 2019 Novae Res Urbis Toronto newsletter notes sweeping changes in overhaul of Local Planning Appeal Tribunal

I think a key thing is for residents everywhere to get up to speed – as soon as possible, if they have not already done so – on how LPAT is now working, and what the factors are that enable community interests to have some traction in such a setting.

I would say the earlier people start preparing for future LPAT hearings, the better.

That’s where decisions will be made, no matter what happens by way of land use decision making prior to that stage.

Residents who do well at such hearings tend to be super well-prepared, well-rehearsed, and well-coordinated. Planning and collaboration are key things.

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