Niagara-on-the-Lake Citizens Group SORE Scores Decisive Win in Battle Over Controversial Development

“This (court) decision is a watershed moment for NOTL generally and in particular for the many hundreds of residents appalled by the Marotta Randwood proposals and the decimation of landscape features last November by the Marotta group.”              – Save Our Rand Estate (SORE)

News from A Better Niagara, a Niagara-based citizens watchdog group

Posted January 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The citizens’ group Save Our Rand Estate (SORE) and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, have won a big victory over the Marotta development group. Read what SORE had to say about Friday’s (January 10th, 2020) Superior Court ruling below.

Once again, having good people elected to Council (NOTL was one of the Region’s municipalities that saw significant turnover during the 2018 municipal election), and having engaged, organized citizens, has proved to be an effective one-two punch in wresting control of how our communities develop away from private interests. Congratulations to Council and to the citizens who gave their support to SORE.

From the SORE website https://sorenotl.ca: SORE is thrilled to report that the court application by the Marotta companies to overturn your elected Council’s decision to proceed with designation of the Rand Estate under the Ontario Heritage Act has been completely rejected.

In a decision released today by the Ontario Superior Court, Madame Justice Walters found against the Marotta group on every ground and dismissed their application with costs payable to both the Town and to SORE.

This is a decisive victory for both the Town and SORE.

For the last year, the now clearly spurious attempt by the Marotta group lawyer to hold the Town and SORE hostage to this legal challenge has impaired the ability of the Town to proceed with the prosecution of the Marotta companies for alleged violations of the Heritage Act for last November’s outrageous clear-cutting at the Rand Estate. 

That prosecution can now proceed and SORE will be watching that closely.

The Conservation Review Board can now also complete its hearing on the review requested by the Marotta group of the Town’s notices of intent to designate the Rand Estate under the Heritage Act. We look forward to that hearing and to the CRB’s recommendations to Town Council.

This decision is a watershed moment for NOTL generally and in particular for the many hundreds of residents appalled by the Marotta Randwood proposals and the decimation of landscape features last November by the Marotta group. It is hopefully the beginning of the end of this unfortunate saga.

The photo was taken by Fred Mercnik during a protest by Niagara-on-the-Lake citizens of tree–cutting on the Rand estate. It was published by Niagara Now on Nov. 29, 2018.

A Better Niagara is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mandate to encourage civic engagement and municipal public participation in Niagara. The group was founded by a coalition of local residents frustrated by the nature of politics in Niagara who joined together to offer a new vision for politics in our communities.

For more information on A Better Niagara, on endorsement and other news, and on the role it is playing as a citizens network in these October 22nd municipelection, click on –  https://www.abetterniagara.com/ .

Posted Immediately Below is News posted by Save Our Rand Estate (SORE) this January 10th, 2020 on the Outcome of this same Courtroom Showdown

Victory!

Tree cutting underway on the property of the Randwood Estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2018 triggered community outrage. File Photo courtesy of members of the citizens group SORE (Save Our Randwood Estate)

SORE is thrilled to report that the court application by the Marotta companies to overturn your elected Council’s decision to proceed with designation of the Rand Estate under the Ontario Heritage Act has been completely rejected.

In a decision released (Friday, January 10th, 2020) by the Ontario Superior Court, Madame Justice Walters found against the Marotta group on every ground and dismissed their application with costs payable to both the Town and to SORE.

This is a decisive victory for both the Town and SORE. For the last year, the now clearly spurious attempt by the Marotta group lawyer to hold the Town and SORE hostage to  this legal challenge has impaired the ability of the Town to proceed with the prosecution of the Marotta companies for alleged violations of the Heritage Act for last November’s outrageous clear-cutting at the Rand Estate.  That prosecution can now proceed and SORE will be watching that closely.

The above aerial photos of the property of the historic Randwood Estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake, taken for the citizens group SORE (Save Our Rand Estate), before and after trees on the property were cut down this past year, 2018

 The Conservation Review Board can now also complete its hearing on the review requested by the Marotta group of the Town’s notices of intent to designate the Rand Estate under the Heritage Act.  We look forward to that hearing and to the CRB’s recommendations to Town Council.  

This decision is a watershed moment for NOTL generally and in particular for the many hundreds of residents appalled by the Marotta Randwood proposals and the decimation of landscape features last November by the Marotta group.   It is hopefully the beginning of the end of this unfortunate saga.  

To read the Ontario Court’s ruling on this matter, click on – https://sorenotl.ca/victory/two-sisters-et-al-v-town-of-niagara-on-the-lake-et-al-reasons-for-decision-jan-10-20-walters-j-2/

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One response to “Niagara-on-the-Lake Citizens Group SORE Scores Decisive Win in Battle Over Controversial Development

  1. The before and after photo is dreadful! Congratulations SORE!

    Next place a must save….Waverly Woods and Beach.
    -History…. NAACP formation, Indigenous site, the old Erie Beach Amusement Park, escaped slave village, War of 1812 battleground and possible burial site.
    -Ecologically sensitive migratory bird and butterfly site including endangered species and a corridor for animals from an adjacent wetland.
    -Serene recreational spot for townspeople and visitors.

    Rampant destruction must stop. We are destroying Mother Earth, our home.

    Once history and nature is gone it is gone forever.

    Like

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