LPAT dismisses CAMPP’s appeal

Citizens for an Accountable Mega-Hospital Planning Process spokesperson Philippa von Ziegenweidt speaks to media at the proposed site for the new hospital at County Rd. 42 and the Ninth Concession. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

The group fighting the location of the new acute care hospital in Windsor-Essex has lost its fight at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal released its decision today to uphold the City of Windsor’s decision to allow the new hospital at County Road 42 and Concession Road 9. In doing so, it dismissed the appeal by the Citizens for an Accountable Mega Hospital Planning Process.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said while he respects the appellant’s right to use this process it is now time to move forward.

“We have gone through that democratic process and we need to find a pathway forward to work together to make sure we can get this $2 billion investment in our community, ” said Dilkens.

After a three day hearing in October, adjudicator Scott Tousaw determined that the zoning by-law amendment is in line with the city’s official plan and the secondary plan. CAMPP argued at the appeal that the zoning bylaw amendment went against provincial planning policy because it was car-dependent and costly to service.

However, based on evidence provided by the city and Windsor Regional Hospital, the tribunal decided the growth plans are justified.

“[The secondary plan] provides for a mix of uses, densities, modes of transport, and a fiscally responsible approach to the phasing and costs of municipal services,” Tousaw wrote in his decision.

“I give the tribunal a lot of credit, they really examined every single issue that was raised in the appeal and gave very valid reasons why the appeal should be dismissed,” said Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj. “The issue surrounding the need for the development of that area, I think the decision was very clear in its wording that that area is needed to be developed.”

A news release issued by CAMPP says there are still many issues that have not been resolved.

“What is clear from this decision,” said Philippa von Ziegenweidt on behalf of CAMPP “is that CAMPP’s major issues were all recognized by the Tribunal as ones that required an analysis and determination.”

CAMPP has 30 days to request a review through the LPAT process or file an appeal through the court system. CAMPP’s legal counsel Eric Gillespie said he has identified many avenues that could meet the appeal criteria.

“You have the tribunal making findings that are very consistent with the principles that CAMPP and others supported but at the same time reaching a conclusion that it’s still alright to build it where nobody lives right now,” said Gillespie.

Musyj estimates it has already cost the hospital around $500,000 to fight this appeal. Dilkens was reluctant to say a figure but would estimate at least a six-figure number.

A full copy of the LPAT decision can be found here.