Sudbury·Sudbury City Hall

Planning committee met with objection on Kingsway arena and casino plan

Sudbury’s planning committee is giving the green light for a property on the Kingsway to be rezoned for a new arena, but not without opposition.
A new events centre on the Kingsway has been given preliminary approval by the city's planning committee. (CIty of Greater Sudbury)

Sudbury's planning committee is giving the green light for a property on the Kingsway to be rezoned for a new arena, but not without opposition.

A lawyer representing the Sudbury Business Improvement Association told city councillors Wednesday night they have made a "serious error of law" in their decision to allow an arena to be planned for the Kingsway.

Gordon Petch was one of 25 speakers at a public input session into the rezoning application by developer Dario Zulich.

Petch says that city staff is racing ahead to complete its plans for the project without having done its homework.

Gordon Petch, a lawyer hired from the Sudbury BIA, says the decision to locate a new arena on the Kingsway is riddled with serious "errors of law." (Robin DeAngelis/CBC)

"You say you're going to study that marketability and feasibility after you've approved this," he said.

"You've got it backwards."

Jeff Macintyre, chair of Downtown Sudbury, says the city is making this deal too fast, too soon.

He says he believes approval was given to Zulich's rezoning requests before essential documents were prepared.

"This investment of $100 million is being pushed through at the fastest I can remember anything happening in this community," he said.

'The future is amazing'

Zulich says he's looking forward.

"I think we're planting trees that our children, and children's children will be able to sit in that shade. And we're doing something for the future," he said.

Property developer Dario Zulich sits with Sudbury business owner Derek Young during Zulich's rezoning application at city hall Wednesday night. (Casey Stranges/CBC)

"I'm really excited about it. The future is amazing."

On Monday night, the planning committee gave its blessing to rezone for a new casino on the same site.

Pending council's approval in April, Zulich says the arena expected to be built by 2020.

With files from Casey Stranges

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