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Bay Beach decision may take months

After hearing evidence for seven days, it may take several months before a decision on the Bay Beach appeal is rendered.

Ontario Municipal Board member Reid Rossi who presided over the hearing said he has a lot of work ahead to sift through thousands of pages of documents, witness statements and testimony.

Proceedings wrapped up shortly after noon Wednesday when final summations were given by appellant lawyer Eric Gillespie and the lawyers for the Monlinaro Group and the Town, Nancy Smith and Lyn Townshend, respectively.

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  1. Mike Cloutier | Nov 10, 2010 | Reply

    Okay folks. I’m looking for direction. All the facts and arguments are on the record and I’m wondering if it is worthwhile to do a complete autopsy on the whole thing. Your comments are appreciated.

  2. Rick | Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    Sure I would love to here another point of view.

  3. Ryan | Nov 11, 2010 | Reply

    I’d like an unbiased view (just the facts) of this project – everyone seems to be exagerating the story one way or another. Even last week in the Niagara Falls Review real estate agent Phil Smith provided opinion on the proposal, yet they failed to tell us until the very end of the article that he owns the Southcoast Cookhouse…a business which would be negatively impacted by a proposed new restaurant in the Bay Beach development.

    I’m tired of the bias!

    People wonder why businesses and other development do not want to move to the greater Fort Erie region – this is an example of the red tape our municipal government allows.

  4. Steve | Nov 12, 2010 | Reply

    Business creates business! Two restaurants would draw twice as many people as one! People from out of town spending money here. Doesnt sound that bad to me

  5. cokie | Nov 13, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Mike
    Knowing your feelings about the Bay Beach development, I would like very much to hear your take on the proceedings.
    I sat through a few sessions and am left mystified over which way the decision will go.
    Without the emotional objections included,it boils down to the issue of our planning departments protocols….or is that too simplistic?

  6. Mike Cloutier | Nov 13, 2010 | Reply

    That’s an interesting comment. What are my feelings about the Bay Beach development?

    I’m mystified too about which way it will go. I need to go through my notes and write up the stories before I can take a guess at which way it will go. I’m not sure if the OMB can make recommendations or apply conditions to approval since that is not what he was asked to do. He was asked to deny the zoning amendment and having to make a black and white decision like that is difficult. Rossi has the benefit of many years of experience and precedent at his fingertips.

    As far as the planning department protocols, as far as I can tell, they did everything right and by the book. There will be no issue about that. Rossi said it himself: the Town engaged in extensive public consultation. “I accept that,” he said when Eric Gillespie wanted to keep hammering at that.

    Could the community have expected a 12-story building to spring from the recommendations of the Neighbourhood Plan even though Bay Beach is listed as a Special Policy Area and the Design Charette said a “multi-storey” commercial building could be built on the southeast quadrant?

    I think he’s also going to focus on whether the property is really part of the dynamic beach where construction is prohibited, but then that is going to have an impact on all the properties on the waterfront.

    I think the affidavits from the new councillors may have served to hurt the appeal, since in his judgment, the new council has all the opportunity in the world to revoke the amendment and to deny the site plan. The issue for the Town on this is how much compensation will Molinaro demand because it boils down to renegging on a contract. I’d say, $1 million would be a good starting price.

    Is it compatible? Maybe, maybe not. I look at the Hill and say it is. I look at all those houses on undersized lots and say it isn’t. When Nancy Smith talked about contrasts, what she meant was the development pattern of Crystal Beach in the past (before 1970) was a circus.

    I do know this, that if Bob Steckley and Ann-Marie Noyes didn’t just sit there in the budget meeting of March 2008 like a couple of deer caught in the headlights, we likely wouldn’t have had this OMB hearing.

  7. Joe | Nov 14, 2010 | Reply

    I’m not sure I agree that there was a proper consultation. As soon as the Molinaro project was mooted, I wrote the Mayor saying that it felt as though it was a done-deal. His response was that he was open to alternatives, but that the only way the proposal wouldn’t go forward was for others to propose a better alternative. That’s not a real consultation, as planning questions ought to be considered on their own merits.

  8. Mike Cloutier | Nov 14, 2010 | Reply

    That’s a good point you make — what constitutes “proper” consultation when dealing with the disposition of public assets.

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