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September 11, 2018

The Ambassador Bridge company launches election-style lawn sign campaign to tear down west-end homes in Windsor

 

The Ambassador Bridge company has launched a lawn sign campaign to tear down more homes in Sandwich Towne.

The Moroun family, which owns the bridge, has applied to the city to tear down between 30 to 40 west-end homes purchased years ago to make room for its expansion plans.

The “Clean up our Community” lawn signs have been placed in front of shuttered bridge-owned homes on several streets across the west end, including Bloomfield Road, Edison Street, Indian Road and Mill Street.

“We have been trying to take down these vacant homes for quite some time,” said Stan Korosec, director of government relations for the bridge company.

Since the bridge company secured conditional permit approval to build a new twin span from the federal government a year ago, bridge officials believe they should be cleared by the city to demolish more homes as they prepare to launch construction to replace the current 88-year-old bridge, he said.

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Given how the city was fine with approving demolition of a couple dozen homes owned by the bridge on Indian Road to make room within the footprint of planned bridge construction, Korosec said company officials are not clear why “we can’t take down the rest we own.”

A demolition control bylaw implemented by city council years ago, as well as heritage designation of neighbourhoods in Sandwich where the properties are located, have been primary reasons why the city has prevented demolition.

“Now that we have a permit, why does the demolition bylaw even exist?,” Korosec said.

But the permit granted by the federal government to the Moroun family for a new span includes a dozen conditions that must be met before construction can begin. Among them is a clear plan — not yet provided — on how the bridge company will demolish the existing bridge within five years.

The city bylaws were implemented in part by council to slow the bridge company from gobbling up, shuttering and creating an eyesore of a seemingly endless array of properties on the west end. The Moroun properties — well over 120 in total — were each abandoned and left to rot after purchase.

City officials have repeatedly requested, but never received, an exact blueprint from the bridge company on plans for land it owns on the west end. Fears remain high that several existing neighbourhoods in Sandwich will simply be paved over for bridge operations if there is no resistance.

Keep reading in the Windsor Star

 


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