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Developers of new soccer bubble confirm project's delay

Zoning amendments can't be completed in time for this season
Carmen Felice
Carmen Felice is the general manager of the Goal Sports Centre II project (Tbnewswatch file)

THUNDER BAY — A privately-owned indoor turf facility proposed by local investors led by Robert Zanette will not be ready for the 2019/2020 indoor soccer season.

Proponents of the Goal Sports Centre II expressed "regret and frustration" in making the announcement late Tuesday afternoon, 

In August, the developers got together with some user groups in an effort to fast-track a solution to the lack of indoor playing facilities in Thunder Bay.

However, the Golf LInks Road building site they chose for their soccer bubble falls under the special requirements of the city's Prestige Business Park zoning regulations.

As such, any recreational facility can only be constructed as a supplemental use in conjunction with an already-constructed employment-creating development such as a hotel. 

Circumventing the requirement for the hotel to be built first necessitates amendments to the zoning by-law.

The developers and the city have both stated they are working collaboratively to expedite the amendments, but Goal Sports Centre II general manager Carmen Felice said Tuesday the process won't be completed in time for this season's soccer schedule.

"GSCII apologizes for this unpredictable delay," the statement said.

It noted that the developers intend to continue work on the project once the rezoning issues are dealt with.

Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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