Clinic tied to official plan

Neebing, Ont. — Joseph Zawada’s plans for a medical clinic on his property in the Municipality of Neebing hinge on the province approving Neebing’s official plan.

Neebing’s official plan, which was adopted this year on Aug. 22 at a special council meeting, is in the process of being forwarded to the provincial government by Neebing’s municipal office.

Zawada, who owns a 27 1/2-acre piece of property at the corner of Boundary Drive and Highway 61, went before Neebing council twice in 2019 asking for zoning and official plan amendments to have his land zoned rural/general commercial rather than agricultural which council approved in August of that year.

Neebing clerk-treasurer Erika Kromm said the municipal office has to provide the province with more information before the municipality can get the official plan approved.

“(Zawada) still has to get the official plan amendment approved by the province,” said Kromm, who is in the process of filing more official plan paperwork to be sent to the province. “The official plan overrides the rezoning. If the official plan does not get approved by the province, then (Zawada) can’t proceed.

“The province could come back and say ‘We’re OK with all these pieces in the official plan, but we don’t like this and we don’t like this.’ So we just have to wait and see what their feedback is.”

In September 2019, Thunder Bay Co-op Farm Supplies general manager Darren Fisk sent a rezoning appeal to the Neebing municipal office that Zawada’s land should continue to be designated agricultural and the appeal would then be forwarded to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (now Ontario Land Tribunal).

“If the (official plan) gets approved, we can just keep appealing,” said Fisk on Monday.

On Thursday, a land tribunal spokesperson said that they never received the appeal in question and on Monday said they have received no correspondence from Fisk, Zawada or the Neebing municipal office as to how the appeal process was going over the past three-plus years.

Kromm said she was going to look into why the appeal was not sent to the Ontario Land Tribunal by the municipal office, but did not have an answer by press time.

Zawada’s plans are to bring a medical clinic to Neebing that includes doctors, X-ray apparatus, physiotherapy, dentistry and a pharmacy.

Zawada has indicated to the municipal office that he would like to build the clinic where the existing garage is situated on the property due to the quality of the well water.

John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal