Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GOOD NEWS!

Bullet News has just reported that Fort Erie is now in a minor building boom. 

According to a report prepared for Fort Erie Town Council, 29 building permits were issued in the first quarter of 2014.



 "In fact, this is the strongest first quarter report in over 15 years." (from the report.)


Meanwhile, the Monday (May 5) Council in Committee meaning was dominated by a discussion about a development planned on Rebstock Road in Crystal Beach. It is not the fact that the land (some may remember Green Gables was on the site) is to be developed, it is the amount of proposed town houses that are planned for the piece of property and the set-back from the road for the units.

The discussion proved just who is on the side of the regular taxpayers and who is on the side of a developer who is a campaign donor and supporter of the mayor. Park Lane Homes dropped only one unit from their original plan, yet there is still a lot to be desired with what was presented on Monday evening. Neighbours, who adhered to existing zoning and building regulations when their homes were constructed, are now seeing a proposed development that challenges both space and safety precautions.  Twenty-three townhouse units on the property in question is way too many for the neighbours and observant people to comprehend.  The plan includes a cul de sac for the units that seems to defy the laws of physics.  How emergency vehicles and even garbage trucks will be able to maneuver in the just barely compliant road during the winter has not even been addressed. The "mistake" made on the Hibbard Street  townhouses under construction was explained away as though allowing units to be placed too close to the road is something that routinely happens. Meanwhile, neighbours will just have to "live with it."  The neighbours on Rebstock are trying to prevent another such "mistake" that will only become more apparent once the units are built. 

It would seem that the town's planning department has some 'spaining to do. Of course, the spectre of the OMB looms large in this scenario.  Council has already been warned that if they turn down the zoning variance that allows less space between the units and the road, there will be an appeal filed at the OMB by the developer. (Unfortunately, the OMB has a proven track record of siding with developers in its decisions.)

While it is certainly good news that there are many building permits issued in the first quarter, it is still incumbent on the planning department and the council to make sure that the developments and buildings are being built according to proper zoning and property standards.

I personally think that Mayor Martin should have declared a conflict of interest since he has enjoyed the financial support for his campaigns from Ed Lenchyshyn the owner of Park Lane Homes, but that would never happen.

Observe how this plays out. It is a primer on how the planning department operates.


UPDATE:  A longtime Crystal Beach supporter started a Facebook group to discuss Crystal Beach's future and politics. Everything was going along well for a while - then the North End Irregulars took over and ruined the conversation and the group by insulting and disparaging those who made comments that they did not like. So, they resorted to grade school mischief, perhaps because their own grammar and spelling challenged blog seems to have frozen right up.  They crave attention, so they turned to the new group on Facebook.  

Meanwhile, away from the Facebook trolls, some real progress is being made to improve Crystal Beach. Exciting plans are in the offing thanks to the community minded people who care so much about Crystal Beach that they stood up to fight to save the last piece of public beachfront property from a high rise development.  Years from now, when people look back on this time, they will appreciate what these brave souls accomplished.

17 comments:

  1. (reprinted from another thread)

    Sharon you are correct, the Town will lose at the OMB, the best the Town can do is to come to an agreement with the developer to change the scope of the plan. Either way the homes will be built the question is how to make it more acceptable to the neighbours.

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  2. It seems that Town Staff keep pushing through things that taxpayers don't like. The taxpayers' only recourse is to elect councillors who will support the taxpayers. But the councillors are powerless to overrule the Town Staff's decisions due to OMB bias toward development at all costs. So perhaps the best and only way to get the will of taxpayers done is for their elected councillors to get rid of the offending Town Staff?

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    Replies
    1. It does seem as though there is a problem in the planning department. Last night, Donnie Lubberts caught a mistake in the report on the Rebstock development. And then, there's the "mistake" on Hibbard. Unforgivable really. The people of Fort Erie deserve a planning department that works for the taxpayers, not just developers. I thought that Brady would be an improvement over carpetbagger Mostacci. (sigh)

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    2. CorruptionFighterMay 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      There is no absolutely no question about Mr Lubberts integrity or courage.

      This town is very lucky to have his tenacity in the face of all the hostilities that he and the FOUR face daily. As for town staff not doing what their told, that is Ontario Labour law and they can easily be shown the door. Town staff work for the people`s representatives PERIOD. Fire the worst offenders if they don`t smarten up asap.

      Mr. Brady is just another climber who will sell out for his next promotion. He is no friend of the Beach or good honest hard working citizens. Read him the riot act and if he doesn`t change his tune(unlikely), show him the door too.

      The hard working tax payers pay for all of this well paid bad attitude and the time to change the culture at Town Hall is long overdue.

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  3. Park Lane Homes tried that nonesense here in Douglastow/Black Creek , he tried to cram in as many homes as possible on smaller lot's than the neighbouring homes, the issue went to the OMB , the OMB sided with the residents and he had to have lot size the same as the neighbourhood , Ed once, was banned from Fort Erie and made" persona non grata " If you look at the people who supported Doug Martin for Mayor you will understand why!! Our area Stevensville had restrictions put on sewer lines and water lines put on by the OMB , back in 1980, binding on Fort Erie the Niagara Region and Niagara Falls , Paul Fell , Rick Shuler, Wayne Redekop and Doug Martin voted, in a registered vote, to overturn unilaterally the OMB decision and allowed Ed and his company to build homes illegally , as OMB decisions are legally binding.The Plantation and Sussex Drive ,the continuation of Black Creek Road are not illegal !!.

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  4. Regarding Cul-De- Sac's this issue has been to Council in the past, I do believe the Region made them illegal, but the Town of Fort Erie was warned by the Fire marshall that a cul de cac had to have a way out for fire vehicles , they cannot be one way in.and out. They are dangerous, Ed managed to get a cul-de sac put in off River Trail I spoke out on this, Anne Marie was outvoted, by the usual 4-2. no way in hell can a fire truck, can even fit in there. or turn around, the houses would just burn down.if a fire happened. So in this Town money talks..

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    1. I do know that Ed once bragged in front of a group of realtors that he could get anything he wanted in Fort Erie. It makes sense now why Martin and Shular were so eager to defend this guy's plan. Measurements were taken of the proposed cul de sac and the set-backs. They just won't work - even in good weather. Residents would have just enough room for one car in the garage and one in the driveway. No room for any other vehicles to park,

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  5. So, how long has Rick Shular been in Fort Erie politics? I thought he became a Councillor at the same time as Bob Steckley.

    With all the talk of who is experienced to run for mayor, Shular's name never comes up. One would think predicated on all he knows about apples and oranges his name would get a mention.

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    Replies
    1. Shular was appointed to council in 2003 when Councillor Mike Anderson was killed in a plane crash. He ran successfully in 2006 and again in 2010. Shular has always been a follower, going back to his high school days. He is loyal and does what his betters tell him to do.

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  6. Is the road proposed a private rd - registered as a condo for maintenance? If so there is no Municipal garbage pick up etc. There are many Townhouse developments in the region with this type of set up. All legal.

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  7. Correction. they are illegal, a typo. "they are not legal " my eyes are glassy with pollen and dust.

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  8. Schular was not appointed to council following the tragic death of Mike Anderson, that seat was left vacant until the next election and new councillors were elected including Schular

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    Replies
    1. Forgive me, but it was this quote that gave me the impression that he was appointed to fill Mike's seat: "Shular joined Fort Erie council in 2003 when he filled a council seat that was left vacant." That is from an article in the Fort Erie Times.

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  9. Well, the inmates have taken over the asylum again. Steve Boyd's FB page has been hijacked and there will probably be no comments from anyone who disagrees with those that know all and have all the answers. Who wants to be insulted and called names when all they tried to do was have open minded discussions? It's the same old group who have contributed nothing except to show outsiders how rude and obnoxious they are. Their behaviour is disgusting. Who would want to live here if they are the examples of the citizens of Fort Erie? At least most people in CB are civil.

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    Replies
    1. They certainly do behave like nasty little bullies. Funny thing is that the Jarvis business district is dying, yet they have a lot to say about the state of Crystal Beach. Why don't they lobby for a twelve story condo tower on their waterfront? Coal docks were zoned off-limits for development through Sandy Annunziata's efforts, yet he voted to allow a condo tower on public waterfront lands in CB. Definitely a case of NIMBYism.

      The Jarvis Street area could be a major tourist attraction if people like Peter K and his cohorts would get their heads out of their hindquarters and look at what other places (cough - Annapolis, Maryland) have done.

      Crystal Beach, like many beach towns will be seasonal for the most part. It used to be a complete ghost town in the off-season but it enjoyed great benefits when the amusement park was open. Crystal Beach was deliberately allowed to decline when the whole village was red-lined by banks after the park closed. It has taken all these years for the beach to come back from near extinction. A high rise condo is not going to do it. Steady progress, such as what has been happening is the key. Permanent, full-time residents will make Crystal Beach a destination once again.

      BTW, if you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact someone from the Friends of Crystal Beach - or join. You'll get no where as long as these idjits have access to Facebook.

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  10. I suppose they will eventually get bored with trying to outwit each other. That will be the end of another FB site they have taken over. It's amazing to me that some of them are business owners and they don't seem to realize the effect they are having when they insult others who disagree with them. I will never go back to their stores and I'll make sure I tell friends about their behaviour as well. It may or may not hurt their business but it certainly won't improve it either. There marketing plan is obviously very lacking in forsight.

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  11. To the NINJA's .......

    Stop posting juvenile posts like " Collard Wants Tax Payers To Pay For His Teeth! "

    It makes you look more childish than you have already been for the past 2 years. Grow up and take the silly costumes off ........ be a MAN / WOMAN ...... not a cartoon character !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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