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Niagara Falls
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Letter: Questions about development and NOTL’s future
Letter. Supplied

Dear editor:

I am writing in response to Doreen Bell’s letter, “A beautiful town but I wonder about some attitudes,” in the Dec. 8 edition of The Lake Report.

My family was warmly welcomed into the township in 1948 when we purchased a farm on the Niagara Parkway. I hope Doreen Bell was welcomed in the same way.

I have observed many changes to Niagara-on-the-Lake over the years.

No one has come into this community and tried to take control in the way developer Benny Marrota has.

His company now owns good agricultural land adjacent to the urban boundaries of the Old Town, St. Davids and Virgil. The prices paid for most of this land cannot justify keeping it for agriculture use.

The company has also purchased the old Parliament Oak school property. What will the company need to do with it to see a return on his investment?

Mr. Marotta has a right to buy land for development, but the control of so much land in the hands of one developer should be a concern for all of us.

The battles over the Rand Estate are just an example of what could lay ahead for the town.

How will NOTL maintain its unique character when it is already starting to look like every other developed municipality anywhere in the province?

The problem was not the past mayor and council. We can only hope for the sake of the whole town, that the new mayor and council does not give in to Mr. Marotta and his tactics.

New Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa makes his living in real estate, so what is he going to support? When he was previously on council, amendments were made to the zoning bylaw that limited the rights of adjoining property owners.

The new deputy mayor, Coun. Erwin Wiens, is a cousin of developer Rainer Hummel. During his first term, Mr. Wiens did not support any funding for legal fees to oppose development. Why is that?

Kip Voege

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