‘Community Voices’ Citizens Group Pleased with Additional Protection and Wildlife Connections
A News Release from Community Voices of Fort Erie, a citizen group dedicated to saving Waverly Woods in Fort Erie, Niagara
Posted May 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
Fort Erie, Ontario —Community Voices of Fort Erie Inc. (“CVFE”) is pleased to announce a settlement with 800460 Ontario Ltd. and the Town of Fort Erie over the longstanding dispute over the development of a proposed 236-unit Harbourtown subdivision on the shore of Lake Erie at Waverly Woods.
After more than two weeks at the hearing, the parties reached a deal that will see a significant increase from 2.8 to 3.4 ha of Environmentally Protected lands on site, the closure of Lakeshore Road near the lake, creation of vernal pools for amphibian breeding and an increase in the setback of the proposed tower from Waverly Woods.
“Our experts recommended the settlement and a number of additions to the development that will improve conditions for the Fowler’s Toad, Red-headed Woodpecker and other important species. This was our primary motivation all along in launching the appeal,” said Marcie Jacklin, CVFE’s President.
“We’re particularly pleased that the closure of Lakeshore and added Environmentally Protected lands will really make a difference for Fowler’s Toad recovery. It’s now up to the Town and the Conservation Authority to create new habitat along the Friendship Trail that will need swift action in the coming weeks,” Jacklin added.
“The hearing presented a number of challenges that made this settlement more attractive. There was no guarantee that additional Environmental Protection lands, vernal pools or the road closure would have occurred without the settlement. CVFE has set Waverly Woods up nicely for a re-birth”, said David Donnelly, counsel to CVFE.
As a result of the settlement, the CVFE appeal will be allowed in part, pending confirmation in a writing of the oral decision of the Ontario Land Tribunal rendered on May 11, 2022.
The revised subdivision will permit 55 lots for single-detached dwellings, 65 on-street townhouses, 2 semi-detached dwellings, and a multi-storey condominium tower with 110 units at a height of 30 metres.
The site also includes an east to west and north to south wildlife corridor that will connect to the nearby Provincially Significant Wetland.
One condition of the settlement is the opportunity for CVFE to submit an expert opinion as part of the condo design process. CVFE would like to see the tower oriented away from Waverly Woods, in order to reduce the possibility of bird strikes against the tower.
Another key issue for CVFE is maintaining good vernal pool habitat for Fowler’s Toads, an endangered species historically present at Waverly Woods. The settlement will create a connected network of vernal pools that will funnel clean water to the southern end of the new EP area.
It is now up to the Town (of Fort Erie) to determine if this system can be connected to badly needed Fowler’s Toad habitat as part of its commitment to restore the area and Friendship Trail.
Important protections for archeological and cultural heritage resources are also included as terms in the settlement reflecting the site’s status as a key link in the history of the bloody siege of Fort Erie.
The entire site will undergo a metal detection survey by a licensed archeologist to look for potential graves before any development commences. A special topsoil stripping technique will be used to prevent the disturbance of human remains.
Finally, the settlement leaves open the possibility that fencing along the Environmental Protection zones and permits for endangered species habitat loss will need to be obtained before the development can move forward.
CVFE is hopeful that the remaining habitat will support at least one breeding pair of the endangered Red-headed Woodpecker.
Marcie Jacklin would like to thank the thousands of supporters of CVFE and those political leaders who have helped behind the scenes.
A Note from Niagara At Large – Niagara At Large will be posting more news and commentary on this settlement and other issues releated to Waverly Woods in the days, weeks and months ahead.
There is much more to report and comment on here.
Stay Tuned, Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.
Power to the people. The public must stand up to those who care only about the almighty dollar and don’t care what invaluable treasures they destroy! This was a grass roots movement that average citizens researched for over four years and they worked hard to attain at least some concessions.
If the average person doesn’t speak up and fight for their towns and their special uniqueness, nobody else will. When it’s gone it’s gone forever!!!!!
Everyone needs to stand up to any greedy individuals who have little or no regard for communities, the people who live there, the history, the natural beauty, the serenity and the wildlife. They create havoc in one place and move on to the next one with pocketsful of cash. They just don’t care! Unfortunately, such people have the money to fight the average Joe’s and Jill’s of the world.
I don’t know what people consider “affordable housing” to alleviate the housing shortage but most projects sure ain’t it!
Elections are coming up, provincial next month, with one party wanting an expressway through the Greenbelt, and municipal in the fall, the people who often make horrible decisions based on who knows what! Time to clean house on every level. Throw the bums out who don’t act on your behalf. Hear that politicians? 😠😠😠
CONGRATULATIONS TO CVFE for this critical environmental victory. THESE victories must become the rule rather than the exception.
Clmate change is here and we must set the highest standards for environmental protection it is the only way to maintain Healthy Communities . VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN’S BASIC RIGHT TO LIVE WITH NATURE AND NOT THOSE LEADERS WHO DO NOT RESPECT MOTHER NATURE AND DO NOT HAVE A CONCISE AND SERIOUS CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN .