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Sep. 26, 2021 | Sunday
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Hummel appeals court decision in lawsuit against town
Rainer Hummel and Lord Mayor Betty Disero after Hummel won citizen of the year in 2018. (File/Jer Houghton)

Niagara-on-the-Lake developer Rainer Hummel has filed an appeal in a lawsuit against the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake that was rejected in April.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Hummel Properties Inc., alleges the town and mayor acted in secrecy and illegally to implement an interim control bylaw to freeze all development in Old Town.

Hummel has a new legal team, Brian Gover and Justin Safayeni, lawyers with Stockwoods LLP, based in Toronto.

The developer's case was rejected by Justice James Ramsay after a court hearing in April. He ruled the town did not act illegally in halting development, as overdevelopment was a subject of concern among residents.

Hummel's factum, filed with the Ontario Court of Appeal, the province's highest court, alleges the town put the freeze in place to target one specific developer, Benny Marotta, whose companies Solmar Development Corp. (Solmar (Niagara 2) Inc.) and Two Sisters Resorts Corp. were at the centre of a controversial plan for a hotel on the former Rand Estate.

Among several accusations against the town pertaining to the two-year freeze, Hummel alleges the municipality acted in bad faith to plan and implement the development freeze, contrary to specific rules outlined in provincial planning policies, as well as contrary to the town's own bylaws.

The factum, obtained by The Lake Report, alleges Hummel Properties suffered damages as a result of the development freeze. The company has requested a trial on the issue of damages.

Hummel's lawyers submitted their 55-page factum to the court on July 5. The town has 30 days to file a response.

The Town of NOTL said it has not yet filed a response to the factum and will not comment on ongoing legal matters.

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