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Starbank Files Appeal With OMB

It could be an expensive battle for Woodstock to fight the development of a few new stores on Norwich Ave. Starbank has filed notice to appeal city council's decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. Back in December, council voted 4-3 to deny Starbank another 20,000 square feet of retail space in its new plaza on Norwich Avenue. Councillors that voted for the denial, did so under the argument that they wanted to protect downtown business from the sprawl of the Norwich Ave. box stores. Mayor Pat Sobeski says council has a decision to make on Thursday night with regards to how they'll handle the OMB appeal. "City council has to decide how vigorously do we want to defend it?" Since council went against the recommendation of their own planner, they would have to hire another planner, a lawyer, and possibly conduct a market study review in order to defend their case. That could cost $40,000-$50,000. Mayor Pat Sobeski says council has less expensive options, that may not turn out in their favour. "How far do we go to defend this? Do we just send a lawyer and say 'Look it, all the information has been pretty much presented, we don't have anything to add.' But council will have to decide how vigorously they want to defend it." There's no date yet for the OMB hearing.

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