The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has received new design plans for the Rand Estate, but Lord Mayor Betty Disero says more details are needed before she can comment.
Artist renderings of the new look, first revealed in The Lake Report on Jan. 30, don’t actually show whether the proposal meet the requirements of a 2011 bylaw governing development on the property, she said.
The issue is further complicated with active legal matters between the town and hotel developer Benny Marotta, owner of Solmar Development Corp. and Two Sisters Resorts Corp.
“It would be wrong for me to comment on the design until all the documents that the planning department needs are submitted,” said Disero. “All it is at this point is a picture, and we need to find out more information. I have no idea of the number of rooms, I have no idea of the amenity spaces.”
“So the planning department, I think are waiting on extra documentation. I don’t want to prejudge any discussion that will go on between the planning department and their expertise.”
Disero said she isn’t fully aware of all the documents that still need to be submitted, but said there would likely have to be a heritage impact assessment and a comparison between what the current bylaw allows and what the developer is asking for.
“We can say whatever we want about a picture, but there are technical issues that need to be dealt with as well, and the impact on the heritage of the property,” Disero said. “It would be wrong for me to comment before I know all the details.”
Marotta said in a statement that he’s “looking forward” to working with the town. Disero said she’s sure staff will get to a position where they’ll talk to the developer, but she declined to say more because of ongoing legal matters.
“I don’t want to do anything to undermine the process that we’ve been put in with respect to this development. I can’t all of a sudden go, ‘Oh, well, you’ve got all these appeals in, but let’s talk’ until I talk to my lawyer.”