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Petitions for all – Bay Beach

Download, print and sign one of the two petitions that have been posted here. One is to repeal bylaw 26-10 (or stop the Bay Beach project). The other is to not repeal the bylaw (to continue the project).

Print your name, your primary home address and sign it. It wouldn’t hurt to date your signature also. You can have as many names on the petition that you want, but each page must have the preamble.

You can get your friends to sign or you can just sign it yourself. Then take it to town hall or mail it. Do not sign it twice. Do not sign multiple petitions. If someone gives you a petition to sign, ensure yourself that this person will submit it.

If you want the Town to repeal bylaw 26-10 and STOP the Bay Beach project, download, print and sign this petition: petition to repeal

If you want the Town to NOT repeal bylaw 26-10 and CONTINUE the Bay Beach project, download, print and sign this petition: petition to not repeal

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RSS Feed for This Post31 Comment(s)

  1. Mike V | Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    No offense intended here Mike, but aren’t we a little too far down the road for this now? We had lots of this at the last marathon meeting no?

    As I understand it, the repeal stands, and we’re waiting to see the independent report Feb 28th. No amount of petitions is going to sway decision makers now.

    Please do correct me if I am wrong, this is how I understand it.

    I personally think the report will come, and the repeal will still stand. In my own “wanna know” would be …

    Will the lawsuit actually come?

    If it does, will it be anywhere near the numbers projected?

  2. Mike Cloutier | Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    It is far from over. Paul Collard’s motions reads that the Town begin the process to repeal bylaw 26-10. In order to do that, a new bylaw must be passed. Since it involves a change in zoning, a whole round of public hearings and meetings are required. Bylaw 26-10 amended the comprehensive zoning bylaw and changed the designation of the property. To repeal the bylaw means the comprehensive zoning bylaw must be amended again. There is only one zoning bylaw, and any changes to zoning is an amendment of that bylaw. A bylaw is required to amend it, and that is a lengthy process defined by the Planning Act.

    Council can not simply snap its fingers and change the zoning bylaw. It is one of the core legal processes of a municipality.

    My intention with the petitions is to help clarify where people in this community stand. We’ve heard all sorts of things about “everyone is opposed” or “most favour” and what have you. Both options in almost identical and clear format are available and people can download and sign either one. It’s a simple yea or nay choice. I’m not responsible for collecting signatures or submitting them. I’ve just provided a simple clear statement for each one. No “whereas”, “therefore” or “that”.

    Regarding the lawsuit, I don’t know. It seems pretty clear that if Town Council continues on the repeal path, it’s a breach of contract. There’s a possibility that the councillors could be held personally liable if a court determines there was bad faith. If the council repeals the bylaw, then there will more than likely be an OMB hearing and the last one cost $100,000.

    Anyway you cut it, a lawyer could tie this up for years and nothing, absolutely nothing, can be done to improve the Bay Beach property until it is resolved. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

  3. Mike V | Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    TY – great clarification/education.

    I TOTALLY understand why the PDFs now, again TY.

    Seems to me we may have missed the boat at the elections? A simple checkbox on the ballot regarding this long standing debate would have collected the most accurate count for/nay as possible.

    “There’s a possibility that the councillors could be held personally liable if a court determines there was bad faith.” – Interesting, this is the first I have read anything to this effect. This sheds some new perspective on this for me personally.

    Thanks for the info.

  4. Mike Cloutier | Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    Ballot questions are tricky. They serve to drive people who feel strongly about something to the ballot box, and it’s these people who then elect the councillors. This was explained to me in the 2004 U.S. elections where Republicans in many districts forced ballot questions about homosexual marriage. Since the side opposed to it feel more strongly, they came out to the polls and, by the way, voted for candidates who espoused extreme Christian values.

    A mid-term referendum is better and especially now because the idea of repealing the bylaw has ignited people who do favour the project or who don’t want the Town tangled in a messy situation. A lot of these people didn’t care about the project before, but they do now. So, participation would be higher resulting in a broader and more fair expression of the public sentiment.

    It rankles me somewhat to see these comments about Collard. I view his motion as simply being an attempt to get everything out on the table and to find out what more people have to say. All we have heard publicly at council, for the most part and except for last week, is what people who are opposed to it have to say.

  5. Dan Andrews | Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    Mike I am all for this development but with that said the current status warrants debate. I think the roasting and marathon meetings need to stop and a open debate needs to take place. I only say this because the election showed one result but the most recent input shows another.

    Too bad this community does everything backwards. With it being a main election issue it seemed clear but apparently the silent majority was asleep on voting day and are now demanding their say. With that said I voted for Bob Steckley for other reasons. Get ready for another late night Monday. Hopefully the chair will do a better job this time. Feb 22nd was an embarrassment to our council chambers.

    I take exception to the bad behavior on both sides though as both sides of this condo don’t even listen or consider the other side at a council meeting. Both sides simply sneer or cheer.

    As for the Lawyer who presented he brought up some good points but does he have access to all the pertinent information allowing his assessment of the Town’s lawyers analysis to be validated? I’m sure he was not able to access in camera details or was he?

    Where can I find this petition around town. This town is so down right divided over this I’d like to do my part and sign it. No I won’t set foot in that restaurant so if you want my vote don’t get smart. Crescent Park area please.

    I asked my alderman to change his vote and we respectably disagreed. If the Malarno’s want to throw in some candy to sway the vote they only need to make a deal with the Tim Hortan’s on Ridgeway Rd to close there and open in the shop under the condo …. or a Subway.

  6. Mike Cloutier | Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    You can use one of the petitions I posted if you want. Just print one off and sign and give it to the clerk. You can write in your own comments if you want. I just set up a clear template for people to get started no matter what side of the fence they are on. The statements are concise and clear with no loaded points and no attempt to use it to change someone’s mind. A simple yea or nay.

  7. Dave | Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    I see you still have not changed your opinion about flip flopping Collard. You put a lot more into his motion than I do. The only thing he was trying to do was stop it!

  8. Mike Cloutier | Mar 1, 2011 | Reply

    This is a reminder of the comments policy. See http://www.ridgewayherald.com/comments/.

  9. cokie | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Mike
    For clarification please. I see on the agenda Monday the motion for redesignation changes to the Bay Beach property from a designation of one type of Commercial zoning to another designation but still Commercial. I noticed it after 5 so was unable to get an answer at Town.

    Also Monday is the Garrison Gateway plan up for approval.
    May I be the first to predict another serious round of problems in the future,
    If you have looked at it, the area of concern is to have all future stores brought streetside with the supposed advantage of creating a stroll and walkway area.
    This plan was obviously created by the non shopping male element of our planning Dept,
    Good for perhaps California or Florida.
    Unless they foresee a covered area, the number of days without rain,wind,snow,hail, oppressive heat and humidity rather limits the days for a leisurely stroll burdened by numerous purchases.
    thankyou Mr Moustachi but please give us shoppers the ability to drive up to the door for convenient shopping pleasure with good old fashioned storefronts .
    I hope this particular section of the plan gets serious review, If not I foresee our planners putting us back in an OMB situation…Gawd forbid.

  10. Mike Cloutier | Mar 4, 2011 | Reply

    What you see regarding Bay Beach is a report that begins the process to change the Town’s comprehensive zoning bylaw to reflect the will of council to repeal bylaw 26-10.

  11. Mike Cloutier | Mar 5, 2011 | Reply

    That’s true about the zoning. Prior to last year it was zoned commercial reflecting its use by Rebstock as a cottage resort development and private commercial beach.

    And the guy’s name is Mostacci.

  12. Patti Carver | Mar 8, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Dan, you can find it at Avonmart in Crescent Park. Just ask the person at the counter.

  13. Mike Insalaco | Mar 8, 2011 | Reply

    I use the beach a lot. Many Fort Erie residents who don’t live there don’t really use the beach or care about it. This development has been pushed like it is the second coming from the beginning. Incomplete information has been used to support it. The Shadow Study for example is so incomplete and biased to what the Town and developer want to say that there is no objective value to it. Town uses it to ignore large shadows that will occur on the public beach. For the Town to deny this or pretend to be unaware of the grade seven science of sun paths makes all of the other claims highy suspect. The fact that they cancelled an Environmental Impact Study at the last minute before pushing the contract through demonstrates a lack of concern for factual scientific information. The new council has courage to ask where are the facts?

  14. Mike Cloutier | Mar 8, 2011 | Reply

    An Environmental Impact Statement was not required for this development and the Ontario Municipal Board held up this decision.

  15. jonathan | Mar 8, 2011 | Reply

    Bay Beach Survey: Good Numbers Are Important

    Spin: Both sides of Bay Beach have used a variety of surveys, petitions, reports, interviews and focus groups to support their position. And we will soon read the result of a new survey.

    Fact: Whatever the result, it should be published with a reminder that the survey is not statistically valid.

    People who choose to participate in the survey, will not have been selected on a random basis from the defined population.

    And therefore, the result cannot be reliably extrapolated as a definitive view of the entire population of Fort Erie, whether for or against the development.

    ‘If selected correctly, a randomly selected small sample of a population of people can represent the attitudes, opinions, or projected behavior of all of the people from which the sample is obtained’ (Gallup Organization)

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/101872/How-does-Gallup-polling-work.aspx

    see link at bottom to ‘how are polls conducted?’

  16. Mike Cloutier | Mar 8, 2011 | Reply

    Not just that, but also the question. For surveys to be representative, there’s a series of questions and the answers are analyzed to figure out how people think. Not just a simple single question.

    What Patti has done is take the two petitions I posted, put them on the same piece of paper and offer people to select which one they want to sign.

    At the very least she is giving people an opportunity to choose, which is much more than has been offered in the petitions I’ve been asked to sign with the exhortation “They’re giving away the Beach!”

  17. Patti Carver | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    I was advised by a women who is an expert petitioner who petitioned on many issues for many decades including hospital petitions and development issues. She advised me to encompass both petitions on one form so there would be no opportunities to discard petitions of the opposition. This is a fair playing ground for both sides of the parties. Stop looking for loop holes to discredit the petition! It is going to represent whether this community is for or against the project. And the majority of the people “will” have justice served to them and be represented by Council in a “Democratic” and “Ethical” manner. Case closed!

  18. jonathan | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Bay Beach Survey: Good Numbers Are Important

    I agree that the wording and administration of any survey are important to its validity.

    But without a statistically significant and random sample, it is misleading to report the result as a legitimate read of public opinion.

    Good numbers should have been considered essential to Bay Beach. Unfortunately for all of us, a lot of bad math has been applied to the problem …

    PS Isn’t “They’re giving away the Beach” simply the other side of the “the public retains the beach lands and access to the vast majority of the site forever / an inspiring 12-storey multi-purpose building on the non-beach portion of the property” coin ?

  19. Mike Cloutier | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Regarding your last statement, nobody urged anyone to sign a petition that said “the public retains the beach lands and access to the vast majority of the site forever / an inspiring 12-storey multi-purpose building on the non-beach portion of the property” in order to show “overwhelming” support for the project.

    All that is being done is to show that “95%” of the people are against the project is a wrong conclusion, one that was drawn by Bob Steckley, stated publicly and now repeated as fact. Judging from Marcia Carlyn’s many, many mass emails, she appears to know the ins and outs of public persuasion and has conducted a propaganda campaign using false information to form public opinion. And part of that propaganda campaign includes petitions, signed by not only residents (to be sure) but also tourists in bikinis and flip-flops and others who own second homes in Crystal Beach who occupy them only in the summer.

    So, as one who is against the project, are you also willing to say that the petitions that have been signed against the project are also not valid?

  20. Mike Cloutier | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Another point I’d like to make is that nobody piled on the Friends of Crystal Beach and others who had petitions the same way people are piling on a private citizen to gather public opinion now. If you want to make your views known, sign one of the petitions that she is making available.

  21. Phylis | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Have any of you commenters driven to Burlington to see the work of the developer that was done there? My husband and I go there frequently to visit our kids who live 2 blocks from the site. I have to say that it is beautiful and alive there. The businesses are booming. The economic impact is worth all that Bay Beachers will lose.In the old days, a contract was a contract and I personally do not want LAWYERS to profit on my taxes.
    Anybody who wants the best for our community would want this developer to do his work and get on with making money for our coffers.

  22. jonathan | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Mike,

    (1) Upon reflection, would you agree that project proponents have made a tremendous effort to urge residents to ‘sign on’ to the following ideas: the public retains the beach lands and access to the vast majority of the site forever / an inspiring 12-storey multi-purpose building on the non-beach portion of the property ?

    (2) I agree with you that there are a lot of erroneous numbers out there masquerading as fact.

    (3) Would you agree that both sides have put forward their best effort to influence public opinion ? (Call it propaganda if you like.)

    (4) What is wrong with the perspective of summer residents ? I imagine that any other municipality would be delighted to convert a summer tourist into an investor, property owner and tax payer.

  23. Mike Cloutier | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Agree on all points. The perspective of a summer resident is one of “get away from it all” and “relax” and then go home to earn a living when the summer is over. This is the home of permanent residents. Taxes pay for the services you receive. Citizenship and residency gives you the right to determination.

  24. jonathan | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Social science research is a relatively well established discipline and to suggest that a reliable research methodology be applied to Bay Beach might be considered a constructive notion or perhaps piling on …

    It is interesting that the majority of the Ridgeway Crystal Beach vote in the recent election seem to think the project is inappropriate and; that the majority of delegations at the January 25, 2010 public meeting spoke against the development and; that the majority of visitors to the beach on a hot summer day tend to think the condo is a bad idea.

    Today’s poll will also be interesting in that it will show that the majority of people who visit one of three retail locations in Fort Erie on March 9, 2010 between 4 and 7 pm, feel one way or the other about the project. However, absent a scientifically robust poll, it is difficult to claim that the result expresses the majority view of the project.

    Unfortunately, the challenge of public opinion seems to have effectively diverted the discourse from a meaningful understanding of the proposal.

    Is the proposal and its precedent for Fort Erie’s waterfront a land use decision that is acceptable to the good people of Fort Erie and is it in their best interest ? Explain.

  25. Mike Cloutier | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Personally, I don’t care whether there is a condominium or not, and I tend to gravitate away from the concept. But, I think this is not so bad. It’s not the panacea that is being sold, but neither is it destructive.

    I’d rather see development go up than sprawl, and if you can put 84 residential units on a half-acre of land, I think that’s great. No roads to build, no extra services to install, no trees to cut down.

    I think council made the wrong decision to go ahead with this simply because it antagonized people. But I do want to get some money back for the purchase and the money that’s gone into it so far, and I don’t mind that someone else is going to pay for improvements to the park. Council also made the wrong decision to back out. A deal is a deal.

    The beach is not for me. Sure I can go there, but unless I want to lay around half-naked getting skin cancer and splash around in water that only gets over may head about 100 yards out, there’s nothing for me. This project I think will give me more of a reason to go there. I’m sure there will be interesting commercial offerings, and I know that I’ll go to events in the community centre.

    For the precedent of waterfront development and land-use planning: hey, if some of those people with massive cottage estate properties out by the Buffalo Canoe Club want to sell off to build high rises, that’s fine with me. There will be more public beach and public access where there is none now as part of the development approval.

  26. jonathan | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Phylis,

    I don’t think we’ve ever met but I share your affection for Burlington. I was fortunate to live there for about four years and agree that it is a beautiful and alive city.

    I would like to suggest the possibility that developers of waterfront condominiums along Burlington’s Lakeshore Road might not have themselves caused Burlington’s economic rejuvenation. I wonder if perhaps these developers were simply the beneficiaries of the city’s growth; growth which seems closely correlated to the secular economic growth of Toronto which has become the fifth largest city in North America and is within a half hour drive from Burlington.

    It may be that residential development follows economic growth rather than causes economic growth. Perhaps we could think more about what economic growth might look like in Fort Erie.

    And in the context of what might be essential to economic growth in Fort Erie, the anticipated annual cash return to our coffers of approximately $70,000 on a property worth $2.7 million may by some measures be considered sub optimal …

  27. Mike Cloutier | Mar 9, 2011 | Reply

    On the contrary, for taxes, that’s very optimal. That would be a $200,000 total tax bill (region and education included) on a $2.7 million property when a tax bill on $170,000 residential property is about $1,900 which would mean a $2.7 million mansion would pay about $30,000 total, about a third going to the Town or $10K.

  28. Bud Melman | Mar 11, 2011 | Reply

    When will the people of Fort Erie have a media source that delivers the news without a personal bias and slant?

    I’m all for opinions and opinion pieces, but I’d like to read articles that don’t misguide or attempt to pursuade the reader.

    Bud Melman demands fair representation in the media of the facts without potshots and casually manipulative phrasings!

    “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

    “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”

  29. Mike Cloutier | Mar 11, 2011 | Reply

    I’m letting this one go, but it’s obviously a joke name. However, the point is valid and I don’t see why anyone would not want to put their name to it.

  30. Tomas | Mar 12, 2011 | Reply

    Bud Melman was the crazy character on the Letterman show. Died a few years back.

  31. Mike Cloutier | Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Well, I signed a petition today. I was asked by the person if I had signed one already. He showed me both options and said mark in one place if for the condo and the other if I was against. You can’t get any more fair than that.

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