On April 12, the Town’s Municipal Heritage Committee met to discuss several permit applications by the Marotta group under the Heritage Act to demolish/alter designated heritage attributes at the Rand Estate. Without the permits, the subdivision as proposed cannot proceed.
The MHC had in front of it an 850-page report by Town heritage planner Denise Horne, which recommended that most of the permit applications be DENIED.
MHC heard delegations from the Marotta group and from SORE. A member of the public also delegated.
After hearing the delegations, MHC unanimously recommended to Council that Ms. Horne’s recommendations be approved. A friendly amendment to that motion also carried unanimously that the Carriage House should not be permitted to be demolished. This is consistent with Ms. Horne’s recommendation.
Council has now set a special in-person meeting on April 24 at 5 pm at the Community Centre to make a decision on the Marotta Heritage Act permit applications. (Council must make that decision within 90 days of the permit applications being deemed complete.)
Mr. Marotta long ago took away from Council the decision-making authority on his Rand subdivision proposal by appealing his Planning Act applications directly to the OLT. That Tribunal will have the benefit of extensive expert evidence, tested by cross examination, prior to making a decision. It is possible that the OLT will deny the application in its entirely. There are myriad reasons why the Tribunal could come to that conclusion. Surely the only logical approach for Council on April 24 is to deny in their entirety the Heritage Act permits requested by the Marotta group. That decision will then be appealed by those companies to the OLT and joined with the Planning Act applications already there. The OLT has scheduled a case management conference on June 9 to settle the issues list for the hearing. All of the Heritage Act issues should, SORE strongly submits, be on that list. Any other approach would be illogical.
It is noteworthy that the SORE residential development concept for the back half of the Rand Estate conserves virtually all heritage attributes Mr. Marotta wants to demolish. SORE will be reminding Council of that on April 24. We look forward to seeing you there!