After a several month initiative, SORE and the residents of NOTL were successful August 13 in having Council agree to having all four properties at the Rand Estate designated under the Ontario Heritage Act to recognize their unique and important cultural heritage value to NOTL and to the entire country
Council in a special meeting, which was attended by well over 200 residents spilling out onto the lawn of the Council Chambers, agreed to recommendations from the Municipal Heritage Committee to immediately issue Notices of Intent to Designate 144, 176 and 200 John St as well as 588 Charlotte. The Notices will include buildings and structures that the Marotta group had proposed to demolish starting on August 24.
SORE core team member David Bell, as well as our heritage expert Michael McClelland from ERA Architects, spoke to Council on the designation recommendations. Marotta group representative Maurizio Rogato gave another one of his increasingly tiresome presentations claiming the site owners are the victim of mistruths and injustices and asking the Town to instead work co-operatively with them. It would appear Council has heard the same thing from him one too many times.
SORE congratulates Council, staff and most importantly the Municipal Heritage Committee for their work on getting this to this point. Council proved they were prepared to listen to the people who gave them their mandate and for this they must be recognized and applauded.
Much work remains to ensure that the entirely inappropriate hotel/conference/wedding factory proposed by the Marotta group is rejected by Town staff and Council. Given upcoming election, this will now fall to a new Council. SORE remains hopeful that the current Municipal Heritage Committee will be permitted to finish its work on the revised Marotta proposal prior to the October election.