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Writer: Town doesn’t start at John Street, Beamsville

Dear Editor,

Why is the Town of Lincoln still supporting a developer wanting to build a Tim Hortons drive-thru at the southwest corner of Ontario and John streets intersection in Beamsville?

The Town’s own Committee of Adjustment rejected the application back in March 2013.

And then in January 2014, the OMB vice-chair, Steven Stefanko, sent a clear and pointed message to Town Council by stating “These matters, coupled with the evidence presented in this case, lead me to the inescapable conclusion that Town’s Council’s decision cannot be endorsed.

In the final analysis, the proposed Tim Hortons is simply too large for the site…”

However, since the OMB’s refusal, Town Council has ignored these decisions and continued to support the developer in an attempt to find alternate ways to allow the drive-thru on the site. As a creative solution, the Town has agreed to accept a “gift” from the developer for a Beamsville gateway feature conveniently associated with the site.

By accepting a strip of land along Ontario Street for the purpose of the gateway, the developer is permitted to have its frontage for the site along Alyssa Ave (the John St. extension) instead of Ontario Street.

This eliminates many setbacks, but not all issues related to the drive-thru.

The irony of this strategy is that the Town is NOT allowing the construction of the gateway itself be placed on the small strip of donated land.

Instead, the Town’s planning staff is requesting the gateway be built on the proposed Tim Hortons site because it is actually required to buffer the drive-thru and parking lot. Understand that a wall in nearly the same spot was initially proposed and required for the exact same reasons.

All that has changed is that this wall is now a “gift” in dedication to the Town.

Any intelligent citizen will realize that Town Council has accepted this “gift” to help the developer fight the OMB decision made against them and make a mockery of the OMB process.

One must ask why would the Town be willing do this? Since when was there ever the need or suggestion that a gateway feature be placed “randomly” two kilometers away from the QEW at the intersection of John and Ontario streets?

Isn’t there already a gateway feature welcoming visitors to Lincoln on the highway, and since when did the Town of Beamsville start at John Street?

Will the drive-thru proposal make it back to Council for a vote? Will Town Council demonstrate integrity and respect the OMB’s previous decision or decide to push through and accept the “altered” application?

All indications are that Town Council is willing to wager more taxpayers’ money at yet another OMB hearing and hope the Vice Chair will not recognize the revised drive-thru proposal was contingent on Town Council accepting this so called “gift” for a gateway feature.

Why is the Town willing to get this involved in seeking a “creative” solution to by-pass an OMB decision?

John Marinelli

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