Tuesday, July 7, 2015

THEY'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE

So said a long-time Crystal Beach resident with regards to the so-called Bay Beach Study that has brought together a bevy of consultants, planners and facilitators to the village. They are currently holding court in the Crystal Ridge Community Centre where they have spent the past couple of days "gathering input from stakeholders."  Holy Crap! It's déja vu all over again. 

Even the expected outcome is a foregone conclusion. Just like back in 2002 or thereabouts. Here it is, folks:

The consultants will propose that a three or four story building be placed on the north side of the Bay Beach Properties that will either be residential or hotel/commercial.

They admitted as much this morning at a roundtable discussion with various representatives of government agencies.

Oh, and it was also revealed that the Molinaros still hold a Ministry of Natural Resources permit regarding the "Fowler's Toad Habitat" until 2027 which the town does not want to see revoked at any time in the near future. What this means is that nothing much can be done on the south side (lakefront) of the property until the permit is revoked and replaced with a new permit.

Also lurking in the background is the Molinaro inspired lawsuit and the still unsettled dispute over the property itself. There is a claim that there is an open road allowance running through the property as well as a path running along next to the breakwall parallel to the water.

So, last night we dutifully filled out poster-sized wish lists that were then placed on the wall of the banquet hall. They all said pretty much what has been said for almost twenty years regarding Crystal Beach. Same as the C.A.U.S.E. Study of 1996; the charettes in 2003-2004; the award-winning Crystal Beach Master Plan of 2005; and the general will of the people as evidenced by the election results in 2010.

But we know that certain people in town have had other plans for the Bay Beach Properties since they were bought from the Rebstock Family in 2001. And those plans are still there, despite what the majority of people really want for our last good piece of public beachfront property in Crystal Beach.

Once again, our public property is in jeopardy of being portioned off for "reasonable return on investment."  For whom? If that were the case, then every park and playground should be held to the same standard. No, it's only Bay Beach that has this unwanted attention.

And this latest taxpayer-funded study is just another pile of you-know-what posing as community consultation.

PREDICTION: Once the final draft is presented to council, it will be shelved, along with the many other studies and suggestions from the past. The high cost of the improvements will be cited as the reason and the only way it can be afforded is if the north side properties are sold. There will be no attempt at improving the property in increments as money becomes available. The present council has no interest in Crystal Beach; never had - except during amalgamation when Crystal Beach had a very healthy treasury. So, now it will be payback for all the opposition to the Molinaro tower. The consultation brought forth a lot of great ideas for Bay Beach, few or none of which will be implemented. Council will vote as they have been programmed 5-2. 

35 comments:

  1. The new council are just trying to make it look as though they are listening, they already have their mind set.

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  2. Sharon, I felt that last night's meeting went well.
    Heard that Lesley stormed out early cursing the "F" word.

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    1. I do not know if Lesley was there. I saw that "it" went well. They listened (as they usually do in the beginning.) I think they were surprised at how knowledgeable people were about the issue and they were given the long, tortured history of the property, especially since the town bought it in 2001.

      However, I am not fooled, nor are a lot of people. We've been through this before and all the hard work was ignored as soon as a wealthy developer waved some money around.. The former town planner now works at the region as well as the former CAO. They shamelessly pushed for the P3 agreement with the Molinaros. Sandy Annunziata, now regional councillor, was right there with them to give over the beachfront property to a high rise developer. The people of Crystal Beach are tired of fighting to save the one last good piece of public beachfront property.

      So, the consultants, armed with the deeply flawed 2007 Parking Study that declared that there is "ample parking" in Crystal Beach, will now propose that the north side parking lots be given over to private development.

      Back to Square One. They just don't "get it."

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    2. If Mia thinks there is enough parking for everyone, maybe she can open up her empty lot to anyone that would like to shop along erie road instead of roping it off when her shop is closed? Or maybe she is waiting to charge people to use it when the Bay Beach parking lot is no longer available?

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    3. Mia doesn't own her building; it was bought by Gary Fraser (LOL) although it hasn't closed yet. Already, the place looks like it's getting the Fraser Treatment (like the shell of a place on Queen's Circle.) Is this Mia's final F-U to the people of Crystal Beach?

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    4. It looks like Mia came up a little "short" on that deal. Must have wanted to get out pretty badly. But then who would want to be the resident "white only" type on a business strip with a fried chicken place on one side and a brew your own wine place on the other. You cant buy class, but you can sure sell out to the local fraud dude when need be. That place looked a lot more interesting when it was the Crystal Beach trading post complete with an old surf board hung out for a storefront sign. That "antique showroom" stuff? Like putting a bow tie on a hog.

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  3. Gary might have the final F-U to the people of CB when he rents it to the Molinaros as a store front office space. Sure is an ugly building though. Just up their alley.Never did look even remotely like an antique store. How about that scowling fat bearded guy looking out the front window. That must have helped business.

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  4. Last night's meeting was a very good one ,no shortage of really great ideas, I never heard anyone say that a condo on the Bay Beach should be re-visited, a final get together will happen in September this year, The new plan want's more beach not less beach, The so called "fresh eyes "of this present council better listen to what the locals want in their community, Stephen Passero for one want's a plan that pours lot's of money into the Town treasury , so that they can squander it, the natives would like a system that helps pay for improvements, this will no doubt be a 25 year project, but one well worth the effort. I was part of a twenty five year slow methodical project in Black Creek and now is a gem to behold. dedication and vision of what can be for Bay Beach, will happen if our Town want's it.

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    1. Porgey, we'd better fire up the DeLorean because it's Back to the Future for us! Great ideas, yep. Been there, See C.A.U.S.E. Study. With this council (I see that Marina Butler made a cameo appearance at last night's meeting,) the vote will fall to Option 1: Sell off the north sections of the property for profit. Forget the promise by the consultants that other parking will be in place before this is done,

      Back to 2002, the north section was to be put up for sale to fund a section of the Friendship Trail. Almost happened too, except for the efforts of the community. Ever since Doug Martin and his friends took power, the effort has been to sell off part or parts of the Bay Beach Properties to "fund" any improvements to the property.

      No, this is not going to end well. Current council will see to that.

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  5. With types like SPass money is their god or any thing that looks like it, no matter if they wear it, drive it or even run behind it (or kiss up to it). Someone should tell Steve the 80's are over. He missed it. The decade of greed had its run but that was 35 years or so ago and people are just not that shallow anymore. A return on investment? That was no investment, it was a purchase, using othe peoples money, from a family who held property that could have been sold many times to developers. But they didnt. Its too bad more familys didnt think like that. There would be a lot more public space here for the residents that deserve it the most.

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  6. Shirley Wallington GraceJuly 8, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    Question: how can the Molinaros hold an MNR permit (for the Fowler's Toad habitat) that doesn't expire until 2027 when they never had title to the property and that they vacated when their self-imposed deadline passed?

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    1. One has to wonder, makes the MNR look very stinky too.

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  7. back to Steve Passero, remember he said he is in favour of ALL DEVELOPMENT even if it is bad.

    back to Steve Passero, what return on investment is the Kinsmen Pool getting?

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    1. Passero is distancing himself from the Kinsmen Pool now that it served its purpose to get him elected in Ward 2. No mention of his involvement in it on his recently updated Linkedin profile.

      Did anyone else experience nausea upon reading about the tragedy at Rich's when Passero was quoted in the article? He managed to get his sorry ass down to the site and grab attention by commandeering the Salvation Army's efforts to help the firefighters and emergency personnel on scene. Passero handing out bottles of water: just another photo op/mention in the local press. This guy has become an ambulance chaser - anything to get some attention in his bid to become mayor.

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    2. Where's The Facts?July 10, 2015 at 1:09 PM

      An observer... What investment are you speaking of regarding the pool? How much have You or the town invested in the repairs and swimming lessons? I see a return... It's the smiling faces on the children.. And all those that learn to swim and stay cool in the summer...
      Sharon... Do you just blow the way the wind is going? In one breath you state Stephen has distance himself from the pool ... Because he doesn't mention all the work he is doing to get repairs done ... And then on the next breath... When he is on the scene at rich's to get up to date information on the disaster so he can keep the public aware of what is happening with accurate reports... You feel he is grandstanding? I recall everyone up in arms because they were not being kept up to date on the chemical spill a short time back. By the way... Who do you think is coordinating the pool repairs? Making arrangements to get roof repaired, eave troughs replaced, building brickwork repaired, painting done, pool cleaned out and ready for painting, etc? Shut just doesn't happen on its own you know....

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    3. You're right Passero has been busy. So "busy" it appears that he and his wife have now separated. As to the Kinsmen Pool, it seems very uncharacteristic for Stephen to involve himself in any hard work without having his picture plastered all over the local paper. Which is why I commented on his presence at the Rich tragedy, grandstanding (you said it!) while using the Salvation Army (they are always at such scenes to aid the emergency responders) for publicity for himself. The public was warned away from the site for good reason. I have talked to a few people who were there and were affected by the ammonia leak. Luckily, they got into a safe place and took precautions to prevent further exposure to the fumes. No one needed Passero on scene dispensing water and talking to the press.

      Guess it is true what on local wag said: "Passero would attend the opening of an envelope if he thought it would further his political goals."

      BTW, how is Stephen going to support himself now that his meal ticket has thrown him out? After all, his cupcake business is not viable and his council stipend is next to nothing.

      Stay tuned.

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  8. Is it called Retributive Justice when someone pushes a 12 storey condominium on a cherished public beachfront yet now is upset that a 3 storey building is constructed near her home?

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  9. Was that it for the "public input" portion of the Bay Beach "study". Two short evenings where the "public" gets to put up their ideas on cardboard on the walls like its kindergarden all over again? Question is, was that it? If so, that was the most shortsighted symbolic exercise in public input we have ever seen. If this thing now moves to the council chambers there is going to be a lot more input and it wont be on cardboard taped to a wall. Where are the plans for a well layed out waterfront park? Dump all that gross chain link and plant some greenery. Whats wrong with these people.

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  10. http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/2013/01/29/readers-travel-photos-of-the-week

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    1. CorruptionFighterJuly 9, 2015 at 1:00 PM

      Thanks 23 Prime for that picture of Wasaga Beach.

      A picture paints a 1000 words. That picture could easily be titled Crystal Beach and this community could benefit from the very large tourist market of not only Toronto but something Wasaga has a hard time doing is drawing Western New York tourists as well.

      Real easy and cheap start. Just tear down those offensive fences and plant some greenery. The Toronto crowd already knows about this gem and much more of the same obviously goes for Buffalo. Instead in this town of greedy, money grubbing insiders(and their half whit supporters), it's studied to death while masking the real agenda of selling it off to the sleaziest developer who will pay generous "contributions" to whoever the power brokers are.

      Welcome to Fort Stupid. I say let the west end de-amalgamate asap and watch the community prosper.

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    2. What I found very telling was the absence of any councillors from the events except for Ward 5's Donnie Lubberts. Marina Butler did show up the second night, mainly because she was probably told that the man she beat in Ward 4, John Hill, was there on Monday night. Marina is seldom seen in her ward, but that's no surprise to many of us. She is merely there as an extension of Jim Thibert's ego. After all, he and others are responsible for her getting elected. She only does what she is told to do by them.

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  11. The "all seeing, eyes everywhere" Ninjas have been unusually quiet through all this.Guess they know when they've been beaten. Maybe we can shove a sharp stick down into whatever hole they're hiding in and see if they respond. Seems odd though, grown men calling themselves "Ninjas" with their little swords and hoodies, then calling the people who stand up for a better Crystal Beach "insane". As well someone should explain the difference between a long stretch of sand along the water, a "strand" and "stranded" as in without means of transport. Maybe they saw the mistake after sobering up. Would explain the silence. Cartoon characters. Who would have thought.

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    1. The Silence of the Ninjas is easily explained. Its all about the money. Their Handlers have demanded silence while the world awaits the judgement of Costs to be levied in favor of the Four. Shaking in their boots are the suit backers including Councillor Butler who may lose her Council income ,former Mayor who set the suit in motion and of course the patsy Whitfield. Whitfield the Duh better have a signed agreement from the financiers of this travesty or he may find himself standing alone and responsible for well over $100,000 in costs. Sock it to em Judge...they deserve to hurt!!!!

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  12. Makes sense from howie, GB may have got a spanking from the horses ass and told to "let it slide, your'e starting to look even more foolish than usual". Might have got a big piece of snub pie when he asked for a little inside poop on the latest odds set for the inside on the 3rd last Tuesday. All that off track honey pouring in just before the scratch sheet is settled. It looks like the all seeing Ninjas might have to buy a few new friends. A big howdy and a slap on the back for poor Greg but no soup for you at least untill you become a little more usefull with the childish web site. Must stink to see your former friends getting rich while a good day for you is a ten to one on a $2 bet.All that inside info at the taxpayers expence, all that money sloshing around, just there for the taking, if you know who to kiss up to. (and Greg knows who that is, they just arnt sticking their buttocks out the way they used to).

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  13. The news is covering the story about Wynne suing Hudak for slander regarding her previous knowledge about the gas plant. There was a settlement.

    What I am wondering is, did us taxpayers pay for both sets of lawyers?

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  14. view_from_the_beachJuly 10, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    So it appears after all the hoopla we arrive back to one of the three possible options presented long ago in the award winning 2005 Bay Beach Plan.

    That's where we were BEFORE The Dougster and Friends bought into the Molinaro Condo Beyondo fiasco that ultimately destroyed any semblance of public trust in the then Martin Council, and to which continues to divide our community to this very day.

    Now that the stage has been set for “substantial” development on the "north properties" watch how this current council gets led down a similar path when the very same cast of bad actors starts calling the shots on how this “fresh eyes” deal slithers along.

    I’ll take a stab at it and predict that a certain developer will “purchase” said properties, at a rather discounted price, cause after all, being “that far” from the lake and especially at only 3 or 4 stories it no longer includes any panoramic beachside vistas AND by the way, they’ll drop that multi-million $ lawsuit cause after all they’re here to help us.

    Furthermore they’ll appreciate this current council's assistance in granting a few changes in the existing zoning ordinance as applied to any adjacent currently privately owned properties they purchase AND by the way, they’ll drop that multi-million $ lawsuit cause after all they’re here to help us.

    AND If that’s not enough incentive for this current council, they’ll drop that multi-million $ lawsuit AND find “other ways” to help YOU.

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  15. I was shocked that a restaurant was not on the table for the south side lot. Do you suppose it is because the relationship went sour with the man behind the town schemes?

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    1. From what I saw, people do not want a large permanent commercial presence on the South (beach) side of the property. Possibly stalls or food trucks, but no real restaurant as it might, in the consultants' words, "cannibalize" existing businesses in the Beach. Good point, but it will all be thrown out by the present council which is only interested in selling off portions of the property for a "reasonable return" on the original, bingo-funded investment. I do not have high hopes that we will be able to retain all the property as public. I really hope I'm wrong - for a change.

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    2. I also fully agree that there should not be a restaurant or even bar on the beach. I just didn't see Peter pushing this time.

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  16. Yet another restaurant in the CB? If it was a good one it sure could have a serious effect on the places now serving all that fried, deep and otherwise, stuff. But in terms of the seasonal nature of the really big volume sales days, people will eat anything. A great menu with modern food (and the all important booze licence) would blow a few of the 50's style places out of the water (er, deep fryer) and to protect these places, well, yah, better not have any more places set up especially across from the beach accesses. Food trucks would be great too. Again the old argument about the trucks not paying taxes like we do (ie; wrung out like a sponge). New name, forget Bay Beach, its Status Quo Sands.

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    1. Most of the ideas presented were great. No one figured in the cost of the improvements. They just made out a gigantic Wish List and they were done. Once this all reaches council, it will be either shelved due to the high cost or the spectre of selling off the north side as a way of funding it will be looked upon as the ONLY way to proceed. There will be no long-term plan of yearly improvements, paid for through parking, vendors' licenses or even a small admittance fee for non-residents. It will all about selling off the north sections because that has been the plan since 2001 for the property. When the CB Plan was accepted in 2005, it was also accepted that the north sections be kept public. It wasn't until Martin took office in 2006 that the Mostacci Solution was presented and the Molinaro nightmare began as well as the fight to keep the south portion public.

      There has to be a hidden agenda. Someone made a deal for the Bay Beach Properties. All this study will do is to restart the deal. It was a plan made by greedy, self-serving people. And they will not rest until that land is in a developer's hands.

      BTW, I thought it was hilarious that someone put on a note on one of the Wish List that the sheeple dutifully taped to the walls: "Have the EDTC help promote Crystal Beach." LOL. Jimmy T. is too busy trying to hold together his little kingdom to care about anything else in Fort Erie.

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  17. view_from_the_beachJuly 11, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    One needs only to do the math
    5 to 2 Motion carried. That's how we wound up directly back to square 1
    Grab your ankles gang.
    Dougie gonna give ya some "legacy"

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    1. view_from_the_beachJuly 11, 2015 at 12:04 PM

      hint hint...

      Town needs to see a return on investment to justify for
      beach improvements
      1. Dollars
      1. sell land on the north side, taxes from new development,
      2. enhanced parking revenues,
      3. permits for seasonal retail, lockers
      4. charge beach admission for non residents
      5. increased taxes from enhanced property values

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  18. CorruptionFighterJuly 11, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Part of the problem here too is a town that cannot sustain the bloated, overpaid underworked and sometimes incompetent staff (my sincerest apologies to the exceptions to this long known local rule).

    Now add underhanded $$$$$ to be made by inviting deep pocketed developers in to generously contribute to the real power brokers further financial success and you have our decade plus fight to keep the last and best beach for miles, public.

    This will continue until

    1) the east end based ol boys network sells it all off (for their and only their profit)

    or

    2) the west end of town wakes up and leaves Fort Stupid(and their east end cabal of controlling money grubbing cronies) to control their own, very likely, prosperous destiny.

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