Niagara on the Lake council moves forward with designation for Randwood Estate

Niagara-on-the-Lake council has voted to move forward with plans to get a historical designation for the Randwood Estate.

Residents once more filled the chambers, even spilling out into the hallway as representatives for the developer and local group Save Our Randwood Estate stood to address councillors during the discussion.

Planner for the development Maurizio Rogato says the owner is already working on designation.

"In February I did advise the MHC committee that the additional work they requested would take time because it is detailed work. Imagine cataloguing every interior of every building on the 13 acre estate. Imagine cataloguing the landscape attributes in detail, listing them, analyzing them, documenting them; it takes time. For that, we apologize," Rogato said. "This detailed work is almost completed. We are almost there. We will be resubmitting all our items this month. I want to give you a specific date, but I don't want to mislead council. It'll be this month. I just finished reviewing the amended Heritage Impact Assessment and the Designation Bylaw."

But as town council continued to discuss the option of a third party designation Councillor Terry Flynn, said he had concerns.

"I want to believe, as Councillor Disero mentioned, that [the owners] would be acting in good faith as well. So they've already said, 'We're going to designate! We've got no problem with it. We've already started the inventory, we've got this stock in place, we're creating all the files.' So why wouldn't they want to cooperate with us as a municipality then to see this happen quicker? If you want to work with the residents then why wouldn't you say, 'We've got no problem with it. We will assist you, we have already started the inventory, we have a lot of this information, we'll work hand and hand with the community and the town to get this property designated.' So I'm sitting here thinking something doesn't sit well with me, and I get concerned when we have properties of this magnitude."

Councillors voted 6 - 1 to move ahead with a third party designation at a cost of around $10,000.