Haldimand County’s attempt to give Dunnville a new waterfront park after years of perceived county infractions against town residents’ wishes, triggered an outcry to secede from Haldimand and join Niagara. The problem was with the park design, and the county’s refusal to change it.
At an initial public meeting right at the beginning of the project, attendees were presented with two possible options: one showed all green space, the other green space with a condominium project. While ward councillor Bernie Corbett was originally in favour of the condo project as a way to help fund the new park, he bowed to residents’ desire to reject any private development in favour of green space.
Somehow county staff morphed that into a design that halved the town’s central parking lot. That upset the business community who have now lost much of the parking for shoppers, as well as threatening the viability of the town’s many festivals that relied on the parking space for tourists and the participants in activities such as the Mudcat festival.municipal restructuring, therefore the costs of developing and implementing a proposal would be borne by the involved municipality. It would involve detailed analysis of proposed changes, supported by substantive evidence and consultation with the public and first Nations. It must also be supported by all affected local councils and demonstrate self-sustainability along with property tax fairness for all residents.