Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NDSS coverage, cont'd, again #2

This St. Catharines story isn't initially about Niagara District Secondary School, but then it becomes painfully clear the town council in Niagara-on-the-Lake has nothing but vengeance in its sights.
“I was lead to believe it is to make things more difficult for the school board to put in a school,” said Coun. Martin Mazza.
Monday night, the planning advisory committee approved the final draft of a comprehensive zoning bylaw, which deals with zoning for the entire municipality.
But in the process, committee members, including Mazza, ignored staff’s advice to give an institutional designation to the proposed elementary school site at Line 2 and Niagara Stone Road.
This doesn't do squat except irritate the relationship between two public government bodies and prolong the time line for elementary students to get a new school. The recommendation was part of the overall review of the town, but now council is playing planning games with its maps.
The board could still, irregardless of whatever zoning the town applies to the land, apply for a zone change and official plan amendment to allow for construction of a school. Council would likely face a positive recommendation from its planning staff, which could only lead to an Ontario Municipal Board appeal the board would likely win.
Again, these are misdirected energies that could and should have been used getting the board to drop its 'free busing' to neighbouring schools and in the town's own efforts to boost enrolment at NDSS.


Anonymous said...

the free busing issue is over, it has been cancelled.

Education Reporter said...

Thanks for the info. I will edit as appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog, but it misses the point. The DSBN has never engaged the NOTL community properly through its ARC. The Town is well-served to make attempts to bring them to the table for discussions. Isn't effective community engagement an important component of developing strong community schools? Good for NOTL taking steps to stand up for community-based JK-12 education in their community. I wish them well.