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Pickering passes zoning bylaw paving way for casino
Rezoning allows for an "integrated major tourist destination," which could include a casino.
Jan. 22, 2015
By Jacques Gallant

Pickering is one tiny step closer to getting a casino, after city council passed a zoning bylaw on Monday allowing for an “integrated major tourist destination” at Church and Bayly Sts.

The motion passed 6 to 1, said Tom Melymuk, director of city development. He said public notification will take place in the next few days, and interested parties will have 20 days to decide if they want to appeal council’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

“The details are now in the bylaw, in terms of what is permitted, the definitions, the way the different uses need to interact for this tourist destination,” he told the Star this week.

Pickering Developments Inc. was looking to rezone three parcels of land at Church and Bayly Sts. for a $1.6-billion project named Durham Live that would include, but not be limited to, a casino. Pickering city council’s planning and development committee voted 4-3 last September to endorse the developer’s re-zoning application after a debate that spanned two meetings. Debate over the casino dominated the meetings.

The new zoning category of “major tourist destination” covers a wide variety of uses, including a hotel, a water park and a casino.

“The Durham Live folks will make the determination ultimately whether they will proceed or not, the zoning doesn’t ensure development,” said Melymuk. “The landowner determines whether they will develop or not. Our expectations are in this case, that the Durham Live group wants to establish a major tourist destination with a casino. That’s what they applied for.”