SORE reminds its supporters and interested parties of the OLT case management conference FRIDAY, JUNE 9 AT 10 AM.
Access code: 765-631-861
The primary purpose of this video call is to discuss the issues lists for the Ontario Land Tribunal hearing for the proposed Marotta Rand subdivision scheduled to begin next March.
The Town, SORE and the Marotta group have all filed detailed issues lists with the Tribunal. We anticipate some discussion of these lists as well as a procedural order for the hearing.
AN IMPORTANT UNRESOLVED ISSUE IS WHETHER PART OR ALL OF THE HEARING WILL BE IN PERSON. As evidenced by the 350 odd people who showed up at the Community Centre on April 24 for the special Council meeting on the Marotta heritage demolition permit applications, there is ongoing huge public interest and concern about the Rand Estate and the Marotta group’s plans for it. SORE’s position is that there needs to be an in person component to at least part of the hearing, if not entirely. In person evidence provides the Tribunal with the best opportunity to assess the credibility of expert witnesses, which may well determine the outcome of the application. An in person hearing also will allow the Tribunal to appreciate the intense public interest in this application. Further, many NOTL residents are senior citizens who may not be technically adept. Requiring these residents to sit at a computer screen for hours each day strikes us as cruel and unusual punishment, and entirely unnecessary.
We understand that the Marotta group lawyers will oppose having any part of the hearing in person. The Town is on record at the first case management conference as supporting a public hearing for the reasons outlined above. We hope there is no backsliding on the Town’s position in this regard. We invite you to make sure your elected councillors know that the public interest demands a public hearing in this case.