In the latest (self-inflicted) wound, one of Benny Marotta’s companies informed the Conservation Review Board on Tuesday, Nov. 2, that it was withdrawing the challenge to the Town’s Notices of Intent to Designate 200 John Street and 588 Charlotte Street under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Our supporters will recall that after the previous Council issued those Notices in August of 2018 for all four properties comprising the Rand Estate, Mr. Marotta’s companies initiated a challenge to the Conservation Review Board.
Several months later Mr. Marotta changed lawyers and his new lawyer initiated a Superior Court challenge to the legality of the Town’s Notices. That court challenge was ultimately soundly rejected on all grounds by the Superior Court and the Marotta companies then withdrew their Conservation Review Board challenge with respect to 144 and 176 John St E.
They maintained their CRB challenge however with respect to 200 John and 588 Charlotte, presumably in no small part because the Town has an outstanding prosecution against the Marotta companies for their outrageous clear-cutting of large parts of 200 John and 588 Charlotte in November of 2018.
That challenge has now also been withdrawn.
We have lost count of how many legal battles Mr. Marotta and his companies have initiated and then lost or abandoned concerning the Rand Estate. This is just the latest.
SORE and we assume the Town will be considering seeking costs from the Marotta companies for dragging them through years of a now-abandoned CRB challenge.
We also expect the Town to now vigorously pursue the Heritage Act prosecution against the Marotta companies for the 2018 clear cutting. A potential remedy for the Town in the event the prosecution is successful is to reinstate the illegally destroyed heritage landscape and mature trees.