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Niagara Falls
Friday, September 29, 2023
Letter: There are no positives in Marotta hotel proposal
Letter writer Wayne Murray says a hotel at Parliament Oak isn’t worth it because the jobs it would create aren’t for NOTL residents and cars will be a nuisance. File
Letter writer Wayne Murray says a hotel at Parliament Oak isn’t worth it because the jobs it would create aren’t for NOTL residents and cars will be a nuisance. File


The following letter to town council was submitted to The Lake Report for publication.

Attached is a drawing of developer Benny Marotta’s proposed hotel, with the Prince of Wales hotel in front of it clearly showing the proposal is too big and a site plan showing the serious traffic issues.

Other points to consider:

It won’t create any jobs for Niagara-on-the-Lake. Most staff will come from Niagara Falls or St. Catharines. The developer has no local consultants. No local builders will be used on the construction as they won’t qualify for bonding for such a large project. Therefore, it won’t benefit the community or its residents.

Based on my experience designing building and managing many NOTL hotels, the parking being proposed is only two-thirds what is needed, especially when there will be several wedding functions the same day.

Cars will park on both sides of Centre, Gage and Regent streets, making them impassible.

By comparison, the Pillar and Post hotel provides 325 parking spaces for a similar number of guest rooms and banquet spaces, or 50 per cent more than is being proposed.

Conde Nast Traveler’s selection of Niagara on the Lake as “one of the 50 prettiest towns in the world” probably occurred because our residents have always prevented the town from being ruined by incompatible buildings proposed by unsympathetic developers.

There will be 13 driveways and streets opening onto the one block of King Street between Centre and Gage.

At check-in and check-out times there could be hundreds of cars making left turns in and out of the hotel site. See the attached site plan drawing showing where collisions will occur most frequently.

The proposed building is longer than Queen’s Landing Hotel and 1.5 times higher than it, the Pillar and Post, and the Prince of Wales Hotel.

The proposed hotel is totally surrounded by small private homes.

All of the streets surrounding the site are narrow neighbourhood roads unable to handle the hundreds of cars and trucks travelling to and from the proposed hotel every day.

King Street will probably need to be widened and left turn lanes at Centre and gage Streets will have to be provided. There may have to be stop lights at King and Mary streets to manage traffic flow.

There are hundreds of hotel rooms already approved on commercially zoned property in Old Town. So, there’s no need for another hotel.

However, even if someone wanted to build one, it has to be in a commercial zone and comply with the town’s height bylaws, just like the other hotels in NOTL.

In conclusion, the location is totally wrong considering the zoning and the traffic issues.

What would you think about a building larger than Queen’s Landing in the front yard of your house?

The exterior design is also totally wrong. It’s a style that was traditionally used for institutional buildings in Europe at the end of the 1800s. There’s nothing like it in Niagara and maybe not in this country and it exceeds the town’s height bylaw by more than 50 per cent.

As you can see on the site plan drawing showing traffic patterns, there will be countless serious collisions on the four streets surrounding the property.

Furthermore, this building won’t provide temporary or permanent employment for Niagara-on-the-Lake residents, except the owner.

Hopefully, these facts will make you rethink any support for Mr. Marotta’s hotel and encourage you to make a decision based on what is best for the community and not what is best for the developer.

Wayne Murray, architect

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