Thread: Fort Erie
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      11-24-2012, 12:21 AM   #38
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They probably aren't going ahead with the purchase since a new NIMBY group PALS has appealed the OMB decision.

Thorold Niagara News - November 21

An environmental group who has opposed the Canadian Motor Speedway has thrown another fork into the plans moving ahead.

The Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society (PALS) has appealed the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)'s decision that ruled in favour of the $400 million project, expected to be built on 823 acres of land in Fort Erie.

Concerned groups had 30 days to file an appeal over the OMB's decision and last week, the PALS group followed through with that right.

John Bacher a researcher with PALS, who also spoke publicly at the OMB hearing, told the Fort Erie Times there are a number of issues he and his group have with the OMB's decision.

"There were a number of errors and that's why we wanted to appeal," said Bacher.

He feels an alternate site in Niagara Falls was not given the proper amount of consideration by the board.

He feels the headwaters spring for Miller's Creek will not be protected, along with significant forests on the site.

He also feels the presence of the Bobolink, an endangered species, was not given proper consideration by the board.

When asked if PALS considered the current economic state of Fort Erie and ten per cent of its population being unemployed, he said "we're concerned about economic considerations."

He continued by saying that the speedway is not the last hope for Greater Fort Erie and that the provincial government could assist by helping the municipality with brownfield designations around town.

"There are a lot of brownfield sites in Fort Erie that could be re-developed," said Bacher.

Azhar Mohammad, executive director the speedway, said his group is evaluating the impact of this appeal with its legal and development teams.

"Our thoughts go out to everyone in Fort Erie, who do not need this right now," said Mohammad.

"We will certainly do whatever we can to ensure we maintain our development timelines. Let's see what our lawyers come up with."

The projected cost of the entire facility is $400 million. It will include a one mile paved oval course and a 2.5 mile paved road course.

To date, $11 million has been spent on pre-development costs.