Solmar, one of the Benny Marotta companies, has filed an “updated” application for the highly controversial subdivision proposal for the back half of the Rand Estate.
The updated application now seeks approval from the Ontario Land Tribunal for 202 residential units (even though the plan filed by Solmar states “Total Units:158”). This is a complete mischaracterization of the approval actually sought.
The application proposes that the subdivision be accessed using the 200 John Street panhandle, with an emergency access at the existing exit at 588 Charlotte. Of note, the proposed 200 John St road would obliterate the pool garden complex designed by the noted Dunington-Grubb firm the better part of a century ago. That pool garden complex is protected by the Town under the Heritage Act.
The application also proposes the relocation of a wetland from 200 John to 144 John (corner of John and Charlotte).
The new application stands in direct opposition to the Town position as articulated in the December 15 Council resolution. As a reminder, Council stipulated that:
- no more than 135 residential units should be permitted
- that the Town would oppose a subdivision road using the 200 John St panhandle
- that numerous cultural heritage attributes on the properties in question be preserved, maintained and restored in accordance with the report of former Town heritage planner Denise Horne. The Horne report specifically recommended that a heritage permit for a 200 John access road be denied.
Rather than acquiescing to the Council position and saving the Town (and SORE) the costs of a lengthy OLT hearing, Mr. Marotta has chosen, once again, to fight your elected Council and to try to extract every possible penny of profit from arguably the most important remaining estate lot in NOTL. Regrettably, this continues his pattern of litigating at every opportunity.
There is an OLT Case Management Conference tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 am. The access details are as follows:
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 (one-day CMC hearing)
GoTo Meeting: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/909787981
Access code: 909-787-981
Audio-only telephone line: 1-888-455-1389 or +1 (647) 497-9391
Audio-only access code: 909-787-981
We encourage residents to dial in, listen and speak up. An opportunity still exists to seek participant or party status given the late filing by Mr. Marotta of a substantially revised application (one that isn’t even posted yet on the Town website to our knowledge).