The future of our West End cannot be decided by greedy developers
Updated: Jul 23, 2021
We are new residents of Wasaga Beach. When we first saw Shore Lane, we loved it. What a beautiful, leafy green, peaceful community. We learned of the residents efforts to establish a small beach area at the end of 74th Street. We now launch our kayak and take our dog there for a little dip.
Our backyard backs on to tall, mature trees and the sound of birds in the morning is incredible.
In May we received a letter with photos and plans detailing a massive redevelopment of the lot immediately behind our home. Condos, townhouses and homes. We were shocked.
We discovered the lot contained protected wetlands and that those wetlands mitigated flooding that would surely impact our home if they were replaced with concrete and asphalt. We got a crash course in urban planning and rezoning. We read the Wasaga Beach Offical Plan, Housing Strategy and other studies and were completely and utterly perplexed as to why the town would ever contemplate a development like this in the West End.
And then I read about the lot owner - Mr. Tony Romanin, a cottaging neighbour from Toronto. The first thing that hit me was that he (and his company LAR) were criminally charged with bid-rigging, a serious criminal offence under the Competition Act.
He is also a defendant in a related class-action lawsuit which is currently before the Federal Court. A neighbour circulated documents received from the NVCA showing he was warned and ultimately fined for trying to bend this lot to his developer will. He cleared a section of the land and he attempted to fill the existing ponds. Another neighbour witnessed a generator and discovered he was draining water and moving it to another section of the lot causing flooding in that area. His only “excuse” was that he didn’t know he needed a permit to interfere with protected land.
We decided to fight for the neighbourhood we now call home and to fight for good urban planning for all of Wasaga Beach. We cannot allow the future of Wasaga Beach to be decided by developers motivated by greed. Our community is a small community and people like that and want that. This development will add in the range of 1000 residents to this neighbourhood. This will overwhelm the small community beaches. This will tax the already overtaxed infrastructure not to mention the shelves at our one grocery store that are already bare.
Please talk to your Town Councillor or our Mayor and urge the town to say no to high-density in the West End and an even bigger NO to developer driven urban planning. They need to hear from us loud and clear before they make a decision.