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Nov. 29, 2020 | Sunday
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Neighbour unhappy with winery driveway
Marion Hassebroek joins council for livestream. (Sourced)

Marion Hassebroek says the driveway to Queenston Mile Winery “isn’t compatible” with the residential neighbourhood on Queenston Road.

During Monday’s council meeting she outlined some of the problems neighbours have with the winery entrance, and encouraged councillors to have Queenston Mile build a new driveway on Concession 6.

She said “several incidents have happened in just the last few weeks” that she and fellow neighbours aren’t happy about.

On Aug. 1, between 4 and 4:30 p.m., she said a group of “10 to 15 young people” came out of the driveway on foot and started drinking.

“As soon as they reached the road, one of them cracked open one of his newly purchased bottles of wine and proceeded to pour a glass for several members of the group,” she said.

“They looked right at us, they gave a loud cheer and continued down the road, drinking as they went.”

On Aug. 8, she said her husband witnessed five cars miss the driveway in an hour-and-a-half, turning around in a neighbouring driveway

Hassebroek said she’s also seen “rowdy, noisy cyclists leaving the winery.”

Furthermore she complained about the dust coming from the driveway, saying, “There was so much dust the cars literally disappeared from view on that short stretch of driveway.”

“And where does that dust go? Into the neighbours’ yards.”

She said she disagrees with Queenston Mile’s planner, who said an additional driveway entrance on Concession 6 isn’t needed.

“How did she and staff come to this conclusion? To my knowledge no traffic study was ever done. If there are no sightline issues, how do five cars miss the driveway in an hour-and-a-half.”

She said the problem goes back to “the beginning” when council exempted Queenston Mile from the minimum frontage requirement of 147 feet.

“But Queenston Mile was given relief and the little strip which houses the driveway is less than 58 feet wide.”

She reminded councillors why they granted relief in the first place.

“It was because you were told by the Queenston Mile team that they would develop a main driveway off Concession 6 and the Queenston Road driveway would be a service and emergency entrance. And council granted relief based on this.”

She said on top of that, on April 11, 2019, she attended an liquor licence appeal tribunal hearing between Queenston Mile, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and herself on behalf of “objecting parties, which are other neighbours.”

At that meeting, she said Alison Zalepa, the winery’s general manager, “made a sworn statement” that a new driveway would be built from Concession 6.

She said a current holding provision on the winery should not be lifted without the addition of a Concession 6 driveway and that the Queenston Road entrance should be used for emergency and service purposes only.

Town council directed Queenston Mile to work with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority to work on a plan for putting a driveway in on Concession 6, after which the winery is  to only use the Queenston Road driveway for emergency or commercial vehicles.

They are also required to use dust suppressant on the Queenston Road entrance.

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