London Plan works against its own stated goals, developers argue at tribunal

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Photos of The London Plan book  taken on Wednesday February 22, 2017.  Mike Hensen/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network
The London Plan book (Free Press file photo)

Zelinka represents two London developers, Auburn and KAP Holdings, but he made the same argument as a larger group of builders who have appealed the plan. It’s been in limbo for more than four years as the appeal process drags on.

The London Plan, essentially city hall’s longterm blueprint for growth, includes a target for intensification to curb urban sprawl and more effectively use existing city services, such as transit, sewers and garbage collection.

The policies to guide development around Western University and Fanshawe College were of particular concern to Zelinka.

City hall lawyer Aynsley Anderson said the opposition to that section of the London Plan is particularly bold, because instead of providing alternative language, as developers did for other policies, those appealing want the entire section deleted.

“There isn’t an alternative proposal, it’s just deletion. This simply isn’t an option,” Anderson said earlier this week.

“It’s up to the tribunal and to the planners to demonstrate what planning policies are in the public interest as a whole.”

Building in and around those post-secondary institutions — called “near-campus neighbourhoods” — is particularly tricky because those areas may be home to historic buildings and the growth has to take into account the needs of families living there, not just students.

“The policies prevent intensification in most of these areas and, as I’ve said, these are substantial areas. These are some of the most ideal locations for intensification and redevelopment and an area of high market demand,” Zelinka told the tribunal.

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