News

Welland zoning bylaw advancing

Laura Barton

By Laura Barton, Tribune Staff

Welland is hoping to move forward with its comprehensive zoning bylaw, which was discussed at city council’s general committee meeting Tuesday night.

It has yet to come before council at a committee-of-the-whole meeting to be officially ratified.

During the meeting, Grant Munday, manager of development approvals with the city, shared details of the comprehensive plan with councillors.

The new plan has taken into consideration what the zoning structure of the city really looks like in comparison to how it has been previously zoned. Areas that were once commercial may be seeing more residential development, for instance, so it’s a matter of observing what works best for each area and reconsidering it for this new zoning.

“The document I’m presenting today will help position the city to deal with the real planning issues that we face today and in the future,” Munday said during his presentation.

One of the foreseeable issues is Welland’s population growth, which Munday said is expected to increase by 18,000 by 2041. He said because of that, the city must look at how to more efficiently use land to accommodate that kind of population influx.

He said there is a great need for housing in the Welland area, so including provisions for that with the zoning bylaw is important for the city to do.

He said among other concerns brought up was that the bylaw has not taken the environment into consideration — but he said the proposed bylaw will protect 1,271 hectares of land, which is up from 71 hectares earmarked in the previous bylaw.

The city has been wanting to move forward with the comprehensive zoning bylaw, but there have been a few hang-ups, including a dispute about a 30-metre tree buffer in the Gadsby Avenue area, east of Niagara Street. Residents in the area want the buffer to remain while a developer wants it removed. Because of that dispute, which may need to go before the Ontario Municipal Board to be resolved, that area has been excluded from the comprehensive zoning bylaw until a later time.

The SmartCentres shopping centre and Rona store on either side of Primeway Drive have also been excluded from the comprehensive bylaw due to disagreement with how that area should be zoned. Munday said more time is required to “sort out the site-specific zoning.”

Munday recommended deferring the two issues to a later date because there are investors who have been waiting to come into the area and the bylaw is holding them up.

He said the bylaw will be looked at yearly to make sure it is working properly. Once the bylaw is approved, applications for minor changes will be accepted for up to two years.

lbarton@postmedia.com

twitter.com/LBartonTribune



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