Residents pack Niagara-On-The-Lake council chambers to discuss Randwood Estate

Niagara-on-the-Lake council chambers were packed for a discussion on the Randwood Estate.

Concerned residents crammed into the room, spilling out the door as 'Save Our Randwood Estate' representative David Bell spoke to councillors.

"The existing town official plan stipulates that the Rand Estate should be designated under the Heritage Act at the site plan stage. From SORE's viewpoint, Marotta and Solmar group has been playing fast and loose with this language. They have clearly been playing the town and the MHC [Municipal Heritage Committee] and are trying to avoid having the estate designated before they get the town to approve their proposal."

Bell told councillors this is an issue that drove almost 400 people to attend a meeting of the Municipal Heritage Committee.

"Several members of the MHC spoke at length, with deep conviction, about the many problems with the Marotta/Solmar proposal, and their concerns about the devastating impact it would have upon the cultural heritage resources of not only the Randwood Estate, but the entire town of Niagara-on-the-Lake."

SORE is asking council to give heritage designation to not only the buildings on the property, but also the landscape along John and Charlotte Streets.

Niagara-on-the-Lakes's community and development committee is putting forth several recommendations on the proposed development, including a review of the heritage impact assessment.

Council will consider the recommendations next week.