CMS IS LOOKING FOR YOUR WALLET.
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING ISSUES ADD MORE DELAYS TO START OF $400-MILLION SPEEDWAY PROJECT
Fort Erie Post
By James Culic
The quagmire of regulatory approvals that hampered the Canadian Motor Speedway for years has subsided and given way to new delays stemming from infrastructure funding disputes.
If the developers are going to continue investing in the project, they say they need a firm commitment from the province by the end of summer to fund certain off-site aspects of the development.
Although the massive project was initially pitched as a self-sustaining direct foreign investment worth more than $400 million, the developers are now seeking about $72 million worth of investment from the upper levels of government, and a decade of tax breaks at the municipal level. Importantly, none of that taxpayer money is going to fund construction of the speedway itself – developers say they can cover those costs without assistance – but rather, will be used to make the surrounding land viable for a project of such immense proportions.
OMB DISMISSES SPEEDWAY APPEAL
Decision can be read at: http://www.omb.gov.on.ca/english/eDecisions/eDecisions.html
The case # is PL100362 and can be found under e-decisons, November 2, 2012
Provided here is a copy of the MINUTES OF SETTLEMENT agreed upon by the Town of Fort Erie, the Region of Niagara, the proponent - numbered company 1746391 Ontario Inc., and CCGFE.
CCGFE worked hard to achieve this Settlement. A priority for CCGFE was to have meaningful input into our environmental concerns, including the impact on wildlife, protection of the wetlands and agricultural lands, noise and traffic. We also secured input into the yearly licensing by-law for the operation of a motor speedway.
We trust the Town Council will consider the Minutes of Settlement and use this valuable tool when making its decisions regarding the above noted issues. The yearly review of the licensing by-law is intended to address all issues, from noise and traffic to costs of infrastructure changes necessitated by the speedway operation over time. We need to stay active and attend all Town Council meetings when the referenced by-laws are being addressed and considered. It is our duty to ensure that the Town Council is aware that we maintain an interest in the process and in the proposed operation of the motor speedway.
As a note of interest, the OMB Hearing has a live feed daily on the Town's website.
Ontario Municipal Board Hearing Proposed Speedway Fort Erie Case # PL 100362
Being the weeks of June 18 to June 22, 2012, and, June 25 to June 29, 2012). If required, the hearing will resume for a subsequent two week period commencing on November 5, 2012 (for the weeks of November 5 to November 9, 2012, and, November 12 to November 16, 2012).
- Are the Regional Official Plan, Town Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (2005) and specifically, policies:
a. 126.96.36.199 Managing and Directing Land Use
b. 1.7.1 (f) Economic Prosperity (Tourism)
c. 2.1.3 Natural Heritage
d. 2.2.1 Water
e. 2.3.1 Agriculture
f. 188.8.131.52 Agriculture
g. 184.108.40.206 (c) - Removal of Agricultural Land
h. 220.127.116.11 Agriculture
- Are the Regional Official Plan, Town Official Plan, and Zoning By-law Amendments in conformity with the Growth Plan specifically policies:
a. 18.104.22.168 (i) Settlement Areas
b. 22.214.171.124 (k) Settlement Areas
c. 126.96.36.199 Gateway Zone
d. 188.8.131.52 Employment Lands
e. 184.108.40.206 Water and Wastewater
f. 4.2.4 Culture of Conservation
- Have sufficient technical studies been completed as part of the application review process, specifically:
c. Environmental Impact
f. Stormwater Management
- Have sufficient policies been placed in the Holding Provision of the Zoning By-law Amendment to ensure that any remaining technical issues will be completely addressed prior to development of the project.
- Does the Canadian Motor Speedway project represent good planning?
Fort Erie has a rich, natural heritage. Our beautiful landscapes and the wildlife that inhabits them, make this a special place in which to live, work and relax. Our natural heritage is also a key asset supporting many sectors of the region's economy and quality of life.
The Citizens’ Coalition of Greater Fort Erie (CCGFE) was incorporated in 2010.
Our primary area of focus includes Fort Erie, Stevensville, Crystal Beach, Ridgeway and the adjoining lands which form Greater Fort Erie.
CCGFE’s objective is to support development which will enhance the town’s natural and man-made character and provide meaningful long-term employment possibilities while protecting the culturally and ecologically valuable lands and waters of the area. Greater Fort Erie is home to one of the most diverse and endangered ecosystems in the country, the Carolinian life zone. This unique landscape; which extends south of a line running from Grand Bend to Toronto, contains 25% of Canada’s population but less than one percent of its land area. It is one of the most ecologically diverse landscapes in the province and the most threatened. Combined with the fact that many of its species are near the northern limit of their distribution, the Carolinian life zone has the greatest number and concentration of species at risk in Canada. CCGFE intends to help conserve this valuable land while at the same time supporting development which respects the environmental and residents’ concerns.
Join with CCGFE in our efforts to lobby against one of the most dangerous assaults on the mosaic of farmlands and forests of Carolinian Canada; a proposed NASCAR-style speedway development on 821 acres in Fort Erie. We object to the re-classification of “Good General Agricultural Land” through a provincial planning loop-hole called a “Special Policy Area”, in order to make way for this project and its inherent threats to our landscape and lifestyle. We have filed our objection with the Ontario Municipal Board Appeals Court, and are in urgent need of donations to support this process.
“There’s a price for becoming informed, something that the vast majority of the public don’t trouble themselves with – preferring instead to believe everything they read or hear from the local media or from their favourite politician.
That price is to risk being treated like a pariah in your hometown when you give in to the urge to set the record straight when confronted with ignorance.”
THANKS TO SUPPORTERS
I would like to extend a warm thank you to all the volunteers that have been working tirelessly since September 2009 researching, raising funds, writing letters, speaking at public meetings and spreading awareness of the negative side effects that will irreversibly alter our community should the speedway be built. Also, thanks so much to all those who have become members of CCGFE year after year and to all those that have made donations to the legal fund necessary to take this issue to OMB. Working together makes communities stronger. And…..THERE IS STILL MUCH TO BE DONE!
NOISE IN PARADISE?
This summer I took time off to explore the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. Paradise to be sure. On one particular day, I found myself in the area of Watkins Glen and ventured out for a hike through the glen. Having had the speedway issue on my mind for two and a half years, I thought I was hallucinating when the loud sound of revving engines echoed over the sleepy hills and through the stately trees. Could my hiking companion hear it too? You bet!
When our hike was finished, we entered "Watkins Glen Speedway" into the GPS. After quite a drive, we finally located the front entrance of the speedway and were greeted by a kindly gent at the gate. No, we could not go in and watch as the track was not open to the public. This was "Porsche day"; in which no more than 10 vehicles were taking part in a private event, commonly referred to as a 'car club'. According to the security man, this was the mainstay at the track Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. There are no spectators allowed, no tourists milling about; and only a skeleton staff in place. Wanting to offer us something, the kindly gent told us we could buy a permit at Town Hall and come back at 5pm to race our own vehicles around the track, following a pace car.
This noisy, non-tourist activity is also slated for the Fort Erie speedway proposal; as well as motorcycle events and snow mobiles in winter.
DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN IN YOUR TOWN
CCGFE needs the support of everyone who believes that protecting Fort Erie from increased noise, traffic and pollution is worth the fight. You can show your support by purchasing a membership to CCGFE: $10.00 for a single, $15.00 for a family; as well as making a donation toward our legal team expenses. And finally, please show your support by attending the pre-hearing on the 17th of January.
Citizens Coalition of Greater Fort Erie
STALL YOUR ENGINES!
OBAMA ECONOMY KILLS NASCAR ATTRACTION AT DAYTONA
DARLINGTON RACEWAY HOPES PRICE CUTS ON YOUTH TICKETS BRINGS MORE FAMILIES TO NASCAR RACES
WILL LIKELY CRASH!
FORT ERIE SPEEDWAY LIKELY TO BRING PROPERTY VALUES CRASHING DOWN
Property values in Fort Erie will likely plummet due to the effect of a speedway on the local environment, according to staff at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation's Toronto Office.
BAND TOGETHER AND STOP
THE SPEEDWAY FROM DESTROYING THE QUIET ENJOYMENT OF OUR PROPERTIES
Call on Provincial Government to Stop Fort Erie Speedway !!!
One of the most dangerous assault’s on the mosaic of farmlands and forests of Carolinian Canada is underway in Fort Erie to facilitate the approval of the proposed Canadian Motor Speedway, a NASCAR-like amusement racing track.
This would involve the re-designation of 821 acres of land in the Fort Erie and Niagara Region Official Plans which are currently designated "Good General Agricultural Land", to a new designation of "Special Policy Area."
Unless the province appeals this re-designation of agricultural land to the Ontario Municipal Board it is likely to be approved. As a community we must show solidarity and fight for our quality of life.
In opposing the motorway there are three points to stress.