The Marotta group has abandoned its court challenge of the legality of the Town’s heritage designation bylaws for the Rand Estate, paying $170,000 in costs in order to walk away from the appeal
A News Release from SORE (Save Our Rand Estate), a citizen’s group in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Posted March 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – SORE is pleased to report that the Marotta group has abandoned its court challenge of the legality of the Town’s heritage designation bylaws for the Rand Estate.
Our supporters will recall that in January of 2019, Benny Marotta’s new lawyers launched a court challenge to the legality of the Town’s August 2018 Notices of Intent to Designate the four Rand Estate properties under the Heritage Act. The Marotta group lawyers first contested SORE’s application to be made a party to that court challenge.
After that was decided in favour of SORE, the application was finally heard last year by the Superior Court. As previously reported, the Court soundly rejected that challenge on all grounds and awarded costs to both the Town and SORE.
The Marotta group then appealed further to the Court of Appeal. That appeal was scheduled to be heard on March 30. The appeal was recently abandoned by the Marotta group.
The terms of that abandonment are not confidential. The Marotta group paid the Town and SORE a combined $170,000 in costs in order to walk away from the appeal. In SORE’s view, the Marotta court challenge was always spurious and a thinly-veiled attempt to bully the Town and its residents. SORE is grateful for the able support of the Town in pushing back against these bully tactics.
The Town recently passed final designation bylaws for the 144 and 176 John Street components of the Rand Estate. The Marotta group is maintaining its challenge before the Conservation Review Board to the merits of the Town’s Notices of Intent to Designate 200 John and 588 Charlotte under the Heritage Act. That challenge is currently scheduled to be heard in early July.
Further details will be forthcoming on that in due course. As always, we thank you for your continued support and interest. Read article on website
A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
To paraphrase the late, great American anthropologist and human rights activist Margaret Mead; ‘Never doubt that a small (or in this case, not so small) group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world (or at least, help preserve the historic integrity of a heritage property in Niagara-on-the-Lake,Ontario). It is the only thing that every has.”
I witnessed that same kind of people power in Niagara-on-the-Lake 40 years ago when, as a young environment reporter working for The St. Catharines Standard, I followed a group of citizens in that community, called Operation Clean, play a leading role in getting Canadian and American environmental agencies on both sides of the Niagara River together to launch a plan to reduce toxic polltion in that great river.
Hopefully now, we will see enough citizens come together to press municipal leaders on the Ontario side of the Niagara River to celebrate the Niagara River as a globally significant wetland under an international Ramsar umbrella for recognizing the value of so many of our world’s great waterbodies.
For a related story posted on Niagara At Large on this issue, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/01/13/niagara-on-the-lake-citizens-group-sore-scores-decisive-win-in-battle-over-controversial-development/ .
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