Pelham Arena site to undergo planning approval process

Residents gather around tables, examining closely the options on offer, September 2017. SAMUEL PICCOLO PHOTO

Councillor Papp votes against, asks for another public meeting

BY VOICE STAFF

Town Council has voted to authorize the preparation of an official plan, and zoning changes, to the current Pelham Arena site. The plan, as it stands now, calls for redevelopment of the arena and its parking lot, with nearby soccer fields to be retained as green space.

Councillor John Durley called it a “win-win situation,” praising the maintenance and enhancement of park space.

But Councillor Peter Papp voted against the motion.

“I think the timing is not right,” said Papp. “I think we should wait. My understanding was that there would be another meeting. In essence, I can’t support it right at this stage. We should wait until we’ve solidified our plans in East Fonthill.”

Papp was alone in his opposition.

“It really is a co-design,” said Mayor Dave Augustyn. “Folks have come up and said that they really liked that plan. In terms of the timing, why wait? Why not take the asset and redevelop? How else do you get the investment back out of the community?”

Augustyn also asserted that residents backing on to the area were looking forward to the site’s redevelopment.

Councillor Gary Accursi echoed Augustyn, saying that he thought it was an “excellent plan.”

“It incorporated input from the surrounding community,” he said, and suggested that this consultation would continue during the zoning amendment process.

The development plan for the property, created by the Planning Partnership, a Toronto-based firm, incorporates a blend of single detached homes and townhouses.

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