Appeal tribunal okays late night lights at Immaculata turf field

By Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay

In our last issue, Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay reported on the appeals proceedings before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) at which the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) were challenging a City of Ottawa evening hours restriction on the use of the sports lights at the Immaculata High School turf field. The ruling of the LPAT was reserved following a marathon hearing which featured evidence presented to the tribunal by OOECA President Phyllis Odenbach Sutton and local resident, Hanya Soliman, a homeowner residing adjacent to the turf field.

The OCSB has successfully appealed the City of Ottawa’s attempt to place restrictions on the evening hours that the newly installed sports lights on the Immaculata turf field can be illuminated. By virtue of its August 22nd decision, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has effectively ruled that the licensee of the field, the Ottawa Footy Sevens soccer organization, can continue to rent out the field for its own, or third party, use under the sports lights until 11PM seven days a week .

LPAT Chairperson Sharyn Vincent based her appeal decision on two main factors. First, while lighting fixtures do fall under site plan control approvals, the time limits on the use of the lighting falls under the jurisdiction of municipal by-law powers, and not site-plan approvals. Second, the City of Ottawa’s current by-laws allow lights to remain lit on city recreational field until 11PM.

Nearby residents are now investigating possible next steps that could be taken to address the ongoing late night noise and light issues that have resulted from the change of use of the Immaculata field. One measure now being explored by Councillor Shawn Menard’s office is a by-law that would see a sports fields’ playing hours restricted based on the proximity of the field to neighbouring homes, as has been enacted in other Ontario municipalities.

Still not concluded is a review of the property tax-exempt status of the Immaculata playing field and parking lots. Schools that belong to publicly funded boards are exempt from paying property tax on their land as long as their property is used primarily for education, as defined by the Education Act. Since Immaculata’s field and parking lots have been licensed to a private company for its commercial use, outside of school hours, the City has asked the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) to review the school’s property tax-exempt status to ensure equity for property taxpayers. While City staff have now opted not to review the tax status of the property any further, Councillor Menard’s office intends to challenge this matter further at City council level.

facebooktwitterby feather
Filed in: Community Groups, FP, Front Page Tags: , , ,

You might like:

New Vision Unveiled for Aberdeen Plaza at Lansdowne Park New Vision Unveiled for Aberdeen Plaza at Lansdowne Park
Lansdowne Park – what now? Lansdowne Park – what now?
City Council turns deaf ear to residents: Nine Storeys Approved For Greystone City Council turns deaf ear to residents: Nine Storeys Approved For Greystone
Community supports burying Hawthorne Avenue hydro wires Community supports burying Hawthorne Avenue hydro wires
© 2019 Mainstreeter. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.
Proudly designed by Theme Junkie.