SUBMITTED BY DEREK COLLINS.
Re. Marotta letter. The Lake Report, Nov. 29. 2018.
It would seem to be a rather pointless effort to attempt a detailed response to all of the complaints, allegations and claims, whether true or false, made by Mr. Marotta in his letter to the editor. However, notwithstanding the ongoing and controversial issue of the trees and landscaping, a number of comments do raise questions and call for a targeted and direct response.
This response is based solely on my personal viewpoint.
1. “Some of the residents — they have a one track mind and have no intention of making things work unless it’s their way.”
This argument can be reversed and applied in exactly the same way to the Marotta Group.
2. “They prefer the beautiful Rand Estate to deteriorate to the ground rather than saving it to be enjoyed by all.”
From what I have seen so far, it is my impression that Mr. Marotta intends to raze the beautiful Rand Estate to the ground just to accommodate his development plans. How this saves the Rand Estate to be enjoyed by all is difficult to see.
To my knowledge there is little if any opposition to developing the Rand Estate. Obviously it cannot remain unattended year after year. The opposition is simply in response to the type of development that the Marotta Group proposes.
While I recognize Mr. Marotta’s right of ownership of the property, anybody with a grain of common sense would agree that you should not design and build something that resembles a six storey Holiday Inn Express in the middle of the historic Rand Estate. It is totally out of character with the surrounding neighbourhood and no thought or consideration seems to have been given to the adjacent residents and it’s impact on their lives and properties nor to the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in general.
3. In reference to “some of the residents” made earlier.
“This group of people who call themselves SORE are trying to control the town as to what happens, when it happens and to how it happens.”
What a ridiculous and irresponsible statement to make.
To my knowledge SORE, who represents at least several hundred concerned residents, was created solely in response to the thoughtlessness and self-interest of the Marotta development proposal for the Rand Estate.
4. (In reference to SORE) “they restricted us from meeting with the planning or design committees of the town for their proposal of the hotel.”
It is hard to give credibility to the accuracy of this rather pathetic and sad statement when SORE makes no claim of authority to interfere in the normal process of development approvals.
5. “The SORE group needs to stop bullying.”
Again, this argument can be reversed and applied in exactly the same way to the Marotta Group. The SORE group was created by local concerned residents in response to the Marotta Group’s untrustworthy behavior and attitude as the record now clearly shows.
6. The newly elected town council should not be “influenced or intimidated by certain groups that were not appointed by the public.”
I agree with this statement which of course applies equally to the Marotta Group.
The town council was elected by the residents of NOTL to represent their interests and this includes the supporters of SORE. As stated in Mr. Marotta’s own letter to the editor, council must “make decisions in the best interest of the town of NOTL as a whole. ”
These interests must therefore take precedence over the interests of Mr. Marotta and the commercial interests of his development group.