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Thursday, October 6, 2022
Letter: Not just a photo, but full set of architectural plans

Dear editor:

As a lawyer for Two Sisters/Solmar, it is frustrating to see comments from NOTL opposition groups that mischaracterize my clients’ efforts to engage the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the community to try to work out differences. A couple of very recent examples will illustrate.

Michael Howe, president of the Niagara Foundation, wrote in your Feb. 13 issue (Letter: “Marotta lawyer paints his client as a victim when he’s the one suing”) that it is a “virtual certainty” that our clients’ settlement offers “would be aggressively promoting the merits of … proceeding with development of the Rand Estate including a convention centre and 170-unit subdivision.”

In fact, as public court filings available to Mr. Howe reveal, the settlement offers had nothing to do with approval of the development proposals. They were about settling and approving those heritage attributes of the four properties upon which our client and the town can agree, and leaving the rest for the Conservation Review Board to report on.

Not to be outdone, SORE has now posted to its website that our clients delivered to the town only a “picture” of their revised hotel proposal, and that SORE and the town “have no clarity on whether Benny Marotta intends to follow through with detailed design information.” 

Again, a simple check with the town clerk or planning department would have confirmed that our clients didn’t just file a picture. They filed a full set of architectural drawings and a site plan. 

SORE also claims that “the building appears to be the same height as Benny Marotta’s previous proposals and several storeys higher than the Romance Inn proposal contemplated.” In fact, the proposed building meets the height requirement in the Romance Inn zoning bylaw.

Michael Melling

Partner, Davies Howe LLP