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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Letter: Putting public ‘on the clock’ and do we really need another hotel?
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

I would like to comment on two aspects of The Lake Report’s May 9 lead article headlined “Angry residents storm out of town planning meeting.”

The first is Harald Wattrus’s delegation concerning developer Rainer Hummel’s plan for a four-storey hotel at the corner of Queen and Simcoe streets.

Mr. Wattrus asked for the clock to be stopped so that he could ask a question.

I wonder whether anyone except for those of us who have spoken before town council in the last three months understand his reference to “the clock.”

I spoke to town council on Feb. 8 on the subject of the Randwood character study.

I had heard that because of the many delegations made to council concerning the apartment building at the end of King Street that it had changed the limit on delegations to five minutes from 10.

However, I was very much surprised to find a large digital clock with orange numbers placed below the lord mayor’s dais, directly in front of the presenter.

As soon as I began by stating my name and address, the clock started counting down.

It’s intimidating enough to try to make a point in front of nine councillors and numerous staff members without being faced with a sports event clock counting down the seconds.

Fortunately, I was at my concluding paragraph when I looked up to see I only had 10 seconds left before Coun. Tim Balasiuk announced “Time up.”

I fail to understand why the present town council feels that members of the public must race through their presentations in order to beat the clock.

Another aspect of the presentation concerning Mr. Hummel’s 81-room hotel is whether there is a need for another hotel in Old Town.

The Pillar and Post received permission for a conference centre and additional rooms in 2008 but has not built them.

The zoning was changed in 2011 for 144 and 176 John St. to become the Romance Inn. It was not built.

Benny Marotta has proposed a hotel for that site on John Street as well as on the old Parliament Oak school site.

Do we really need a hotel with a three-level underground parking garage on Queen Street, facing the Charles Inn and surrounded by private residences?

Elizabeth Masson

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