More delays possible for Sudbury's Kingsway Entertainment District
City councillor hopes to dissolve Sudbury BIA, after it filed papers against city project
The Kingsway Entertainment District could be facing more delays after two opponents of the project filed a notice of application against the City of Greater Sudbury with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The notice was filed on April 8 by the Downtown Business Improvement Area, known as the Sudbury BIA and Tom Fortin, who is with Casino Free Sudbury.
City councillor Robert Kirwan says he only recently heard about the court documents, but believes this to be just another stalling tactic by the opponents of the KED.
"What it's going to do is basically ensure that even if the LPAT approves the applications for the zoning amendment and the official plan amendment then the matter is still going to be stuck in the courts and it could likely stay in the courts for years," said Kirwan.
A notice of application only means that the option of bringing this issue before the Superior Court is possible, the city has not been served any legal papers yet, but after filing the application the Sudbury BIA and Tom Fortin can serve them in the future.
"This doesn't mean we are going to Superior Court, this means that we are keeping that option available should LPAT say this is no longer within our jurisdiction," said Jeff McIntyre, the former chair of the Sudbury BIA.
"Currently, we have several appeals before LPAT all of which were deemed to be valid, but during the process, because of the changes happening we don't know if they'll be the right venue for each of those items."
The Sudbury BIA was established through a bylaw of the City of Greater Sudbury. The city also appoints the Board of Directors, approves the annual budget and collects the dues from member businesses at about 15 per cent of the annual taxes.
Kirwan says he believes the BIA has gone too far in its fight against the KED, especially considering the association is a city creation.
"We don't mind the Sudbury BIA filing an appeal against the applications, but to actually take the city to court with Tom Fortin and ask the court to overturn the decisions is just going too far," he said.
"I see no other choice but to dissolve the Sudbury BIA and let them go on their own. Dissolving the BIA really basically takes them out of the court application cause they will no longer exist, it'll leave Tom Fortin by himself."
Another concern Kirwan has about the court application is that the downtown businesses that are currently part of the Sudbury BIA could be on the hook for the costs of a lengthy court battle.
"The cost of this could be enormous, could be hundreds of thousands of dollars to go through the whole process and get to a point where you're actually ready to go to court," he says.
He says he's recommending that council repeal the bylaw that created the Sudbury BIA, which would remove them from the notice of application.