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May. 20, 2022 | Friday
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SORE wants to pack meeting on Randwood
Residents filled the community centre in April 2018 during a meeting about plans for the Randwood Estate. (Richard Harley/File photo)

NOTL activists are hoping to pack the community centre next week when the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal hears a developer’s challenge to his plans for the Randwood Estate.

The Save Our Randwood Estate group will also be hoping to get official status in a legal challenge between the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and developer Benny Marotta.

The case management hearing will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 9, at the NOTL Community Centre.

Marotta is asking the appeal tribunal to quash the town’s heritage designation of the Randwood Estate.

Lyle Hall, one of SORE’s core members, said a high turnout at the community centre would help the organization’s cause.

“If the folks doing the case management meeting see a significant number of supporters in the room, they can’t help but understand how broad the support we have on this particular issue,” Hall told The Lake Report.

Hall said SORE has five different reports prepared by five different experts which the group won’t be able to present unless given what is known as party status.

“We’ve spent considerable funds on these extra reports, which we think have value. It’s different information than what the town has,” he said. “We’ve hired experts in terms of natural heritage review, in terms of the visual impact, in terms of peer review, in terms of planning and traffic.”

“We’re not suggesting anybody is swayed by numbers but I don’t think there is a downside of letting the tribunal know that this is an issue that has very broad and very deep support across the community,” said Hall.

There are a number of legal proceedings going on between the town, Two Sisters Resorts Corp. and Solmar Niagara 2 Inc., also known as Solmar Development Corp.

Marotta, a developer and owner of Solmar Development Corporation and Two Sisters Vineyard, wants to build a six-storey hotel and a 160-unit subdivision on the old Randwood Estate.

SORE, which represents local residents, many of whom live close to the Randwood site, has already won party status in two challenges this year.

In April, the Ontario Superior Court allowed SORE to be an official party in an injuction dispute between the town and Marotta. SORE also was awarded its legal costs for the proceedings. 

And in January, the Conservation Review Board gave SORE party status in Marotta’s appeal of the designation of all Randwood Estate properties under the Heritage Act.