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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Letter: Pleased with Solmar’s decision for now

Dear editor:

Many residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake will be clearly pleased to learn of the withdrawal by Solmar Development of its opposition to the heritage designation by the town of the Rand Estate with their notice to the Conservation Review Board hearing – at least for the moment.

This would appear to be an acceptance by Solmar of the heritage designation by the town of the property under the Ontario Heritage Act.

However, Solmar has a well-known and well-documented history of contradiction in which its reliability and credibility is questioned by many, so this may not be quite what it appears to be. 

Take the article itself, for example, where it is reported that:

a) Solmar plans to pursue alternative remedies as well as seek a binding decision on the heritage status of the Rand Estate by the Ontario Land Tribunal.

b) The company's lawyer states that there could be subsequent proceedings (whatever that means).

c) Trees were clear-cut at the site in 2018. (It is claimed that they were of heritage value but this has been disputed previously by Solmar, as might be expected).

d) Solmar states that it will amend its subdivision proposal (presently for 191 homes, with a major increase in site elevation) so as to recognize and protect all on-site heritage assets, including some that are not even identified as such in the hearing documents. (However, Solmar is at the same time under orders from the town to repair and protect these same assets that have been neglected during the company's ownership of the property since 2017).              

So it is not at all surprising that the credibility of Solmar is highly questionable and is held in very low regard or even dismissed by many NOTL residents.

Derek Collins

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