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Molinaro: ‘We want to build a building’

Fort Erie town council did not back down on repealing the zoning amendment for the Molinaro project, although a large majority of the 40 people who spoke at Tuesday’s marathon meeting wanted council to do that.

The other big news is John Hill set off another firestorm at 12:38 a.m. Wednesday when he sought — in yet another last minute motion — to add a lengthy list of items he wants an outside lawyer to investigate.

The most interesting thing perhaps is that Bob Steckley suggested an amendment to a report that included the phrase, “council reconsider yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Clerk Carolyn Kett said using the term “reconsider opens up a whole new bag of tricks” and that the amendment should instead read “council further consider blah, blah, blah.”

In all fairness, and although those are direct quotes, the context needs explanation. That will come in due time.

And let’s see, Don Lubberts questioned the competency of treasurer Helen Chamberlain. Chief Administrative Officer Harry Schlange, for the second time in a week, told a councillor, basically, to go pound salt.

Robert Molinaro, vice-president of the Molinaro Group said, “We don’t want to talk about that,” when asked how much the company will seek in damages. “We want to build a building.”

Also, your favourite newspaper magnate brought enough snacks for everyone.

Stay tuned for another scintillating edition of The Ridgeway Herald headed your way in a few days with a reminder that, unlike the Municipal Council of the Corporation of the Town of Fort Erie, I will honour my contracts with my subscribers.

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RSS Feed for This Post24 Comment(s)

  1. Chris | Feb 23, 2011 | Reply

    Why don’t we ship them all off to Libya!

  2. Ryan | Feb 23, 2011 | Reply

    @Chris

    I don’t think Libya wants these idiots…

  3. Mike Cloutier | Feb 23, 2011 | Reply

    I made an error and it has been corrected. Forty people spoke at council. I originally said 40 attended. There were at least 200 maybe 240 who attended. There 85 in the council chambers and close to double that in the foyer.

  4. Ron Leggett | Feb 23, 2011 | Reply

    We need these 4 councilors to stand firm and stop this project.SO,SO,bad for Crystal Beach.The rest of Fort Erie does not have to live around this building We in Crystal Beach have to. Bad deal for Crystal Beach.

  5. Chris | Feb 23, 2011 | Reply

    Ron, what limit do we put on this fight? The Canadian Raceway project people have already said they are now weary of dealing with this town, and so are many more developers. This one issue is going to cripple this town far long than the so-called negative esthetics of this building at the beach. This one decision is going to affect progress in this town for years to come. You’re right, the rest of Fort Erie does not have to live around this building, I would gladly purchase a unit in this building and so would many other people, otherwise they would not build it. But the rest of the town will have to pay dearly because of this flip flop.

  6. Chris | Feb 23, 2011 | Reply

    We need a new fire station in the north end of town. What contactor in their right mind would want to sign a deal with this town, given their now extremely poor track record of negotiating?

  7. Ron Leggett | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Chris,answer me one question. what are house values going to be around this project? Another question what is the condo units going to cost?Ordinary working people probably won”t be able to afford them.Bottom line is this deal should have been investigated a lot more before a contract was signed i see no evedence where it was.Doug Martin wants it.Mabee should build it next to his house then see how he likes it.

  8. Dave | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Your right Ron, I guess a beautiful new building would not fit in with the rest of the run down area…

  9. Steve | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Option 1:
    Let them build the condos, and fix up beach area, save the money for a new fire hall, keep taxes lower, attract more people to the beach,

    Option 2:
    Don’t build it, let crystal beach remain a run down parking lot with a bunch of boarded up windows, raise taxes and blow the money saved for the new firehall trying to payback after getting sued

    Seems like a easy decision

  10. fred | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Hay folks there is private land in Fort Erie about the same size, it sit’s were the Waverly Tavern use to be. I am sure if the owner of that property was given an offer by the Molinaro Group, to build his condo there instead, that wouldn’t be an issue with you folks right? So let’s get working on it!

  11. Mike Cloutier | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Sure, and once the town approves it and it passes the OMB, we can stab them in the back there too. Great idea Freddie!

  12. Ron Leggett | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Dave,no use me making a comment on this project you guys seem to have all the anwsers already.Just don”t forget some of us taxpayers don”t want this.I guess it does not matter what we have to say or want.

  13. Mike Cloutier | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    It does matter what you have to say and what you want. But we don’t have to pollute the issue with allegations of corruption, that the people in charge want to run the Beach into the ground, that they’re “giving away the beach”, that toads will become extinct, etc.. It will change Crystal Beach forever. Some people think it’s for the good, some for the bad.

    The only point for me right now is the conduct of the council and its decision to look for ways to back out of a contract and the processes they have used to forward the agenda of a group which is composed in large part by people who want their summer cottage country not to change. If they had pulled the resources together to pour into improvements of the land the same way they have poured money into their political and legal campaign, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

  14. Ron Leggett | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Fred,I agree let them have it down there.

  15. Ron Leggett | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Dave,If you think that Crystal Beach is to run down for you go somewhere else nobody stopping you.

  16. fred | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Actually the owner of the property did bring in a proposal for that property back in 2006-07 – for 6 stories and council didn’t like it and he had to drop it to 3, so far no approvals yet. It is also private land, not public own land. and that developer was going to pay all the fee’s NOT the Town.

    It’s location is also better suited for Places to Grow, which is closer to industry!

    Beside’s which, Maybe the people living near that site wouldn’t mind a if a 12 story condo in there back yard.

  17. Mike Cloutier | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    There were other issues related to the amount of parking and the number of units, the degree of public improvements, road issues and the usual issues brought up by neighbours very similar to the Bay Beach issues, not just height. Adjustments were made, but the property owner died.

  18. Jeremy | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    There is a sales centre at Waverly Beach and that’s the plan (to build a tower).

  19. Dave | Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    Ron,
    I lived in Crystal Beach for 10 years and I left for 2 reasons. 1) run down homes & cottages next to my new home with renters who had no concern about thir neighbours. 2) not wanting my daughter to be raised in Crystal Beach…so I did leave and that was the best move I ever made. Keep your Crystal Beach, keep your slums, but don’t raise my taxes because you want it to stay that way.

  20. Lori Dawn Antaya | Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    Ron, maybe you need to talk to someone who knows something about real estate. That nonsense about your property being devalued because an upscale development comes in is getting old and completly false. All you need to do is look at other similar areas, Collingwood, Grand Bend, Port Dalhousie. All were depressed areas, put in high density development and you now their property values have skyrocketed. We came to Crystal beach in 1999 and have waited for over a decade for our revitalization that was promised when we moved here. Mike is right though, renegging on this deal to cater to those that would rather keep Crystal Beach depressed is criminal and costly.
    Wake up and get with the times. There is a place for nostalgia, it is called the fort erie museum. I hate to break it to you but there a great number of us that live in the beach that are more than happy to embrace the change. Let me tell you, you can bet your bottom dollar that once this condo goes in, and I am confident that it will all the naysayers will have no problem using the facilities and we will let you. Lesser people would not.

  21. Barry | Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Mike,would be nice 2 get together 4 a coffee with u sometime.I am sad 2 c how our town is divided over this issue.It’s a real pickle.I am wondering where it is headed?This town and it’s politics is surely a strange bird.I have lived here 4 almost 34 yrs.and I have witnessed all kinds of circus like stuff go on in this town in regards to politics.I am sure people outside of our town must be glad they don’t live in our town.I rem a Fort Erie that at one time was a town that had more going 4 it than it does now,I know that sounds negative,I dont want to be but there has been a lot of negative stuff hanging oer this town 4 a long long time and this stuff is not helping it.I am not against developement Mike but what I have always wanted 2 c is jobs come 2 this town,lots of jobs but it hasn’t happened.I think over the yrs politicians in this town have lost focus in regards to what is impt.Anyways I just wanted 2 share a few thoughts.Thank you

  22. Phyllis sommers | Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with Ron on what he say’s … I think it would be very wrong to put a Condo … it’s B/S all the tax payers have to pay for this if u want this then U all pay for it not damn taxpayers !

  23. Mike Insalaco | Feb 28, 2011 | Reply

    Some people in Town Hall are making wild claims about potential lawsuits and liability if the Bay Beach Development is not done just the way they want it.
    These claims have little factual basis and rather seem more like scare tactics. I object to this potential development, and I admit I don’t want it in my backyard, and I will see it from my backyard. What is more concerning is that incorrect assertions are being made about the development. The Town does not anticipate any shadows on the beach because the beach is south of the proposed building. That statement is false and misleading because only a small portion of the public beach is south of the building. The vast majority of the public beach lies within 15 degrees of due east of the building, a fact that is ignored in a very flawed, error ridden and poor Shadow Study that must have been submitted without much proofreading. There will be large oppressive shadows on the public beach at many times but particularly in the last 90 minutes of daylight most of the summer. The shadow study does not look at those very important times when the day users have gone home, and many local residents like to enjoy the sunset from the public beach. I’d like the Town to correct the assertion about not anticipating shadows before trusting a lot of speculation about a lawsuit. I for one would be happy to pay an extra 7% in property taxes for the chance that all of the information used to justify this project be shown the light of open court and removed from the shadow of speculation. If you think your partner is going to sue you, maybe you selected the wrong partner. I don’t like to see bully and scare tactics used to sway my council, I’d like to see some truth and facts.

  24. Mike Cloutier | Mar 1, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry this took so long to post, Mike. I had to run out to Ridgeway right after we talked and didn’t get back until town council meeting ended. I received your data. Like I said, it would be interesting to take some elevations from farther east on the beach.

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