In a meeting that stretched to 5 hours, Council and the community on July 14 heard numerous delegations from members of the public as well as SORE on the myriad issues raised by the Marotta subdivision proposal. Special purpose interest groups such as the Niagara Conservancy and Friends of One Mile Creek also delegated. SORE thanks all who spoke.
Many of those who spoke urged Council to simply reject the applications entirely. Opposition to the proposal was unanimous.
SORE’s expert team provided an overview of their initial findings and concerns. Literally dozens of issues were addressed and Council was engaged and asked many questions of SORE’s experts. SORE also noted that it is premature for the Town to consider this proposal until both the CRB hearing is held and the outcome of the Town’s prosecution of the Marotta companies for the outrageous November 2018 clear cutting is known. SORE suggests that the Town obtain agreement from Solmar not to appeal a non-decision of Council on the subdivision application to LPAT until these matters are addressed and the implications are understood by all parties.
One particular issue raised by the SORE experts is the need for the Town to promptly initiate a special study of these lands. Such a study is specifically called for in the Town’s year old new Official Plan, which is somewhere between the Town and the Region in the approval process. At last month’s Open House, Solmar’s heritage consultant also stated that the Town should have undertaken a “character area” study of Randwood and the surrounding lands. So SORE is publicly calling on Council to initiate such a study as soon as possible. We stand ready to input on the terms of reference for such a study.
It is clear that there is zero support for the current Marotta proposal. Staff and the outside experts needed by the Town to properly review this proposal and address all of the concerns raised last night have a big job ahead of them. SORE stands ready, willing and able to assist in that process and we hope to have the opportunity to do so.
Several delegates challenged Mr. Marotta to go back to the drawing board and engage with the Town and SORE on a vision that all might coalesce around. Mr. Marotta has shown no interest in so doing to date. He knows where to find us.