Conrath says: These people need to lawyer up and get the help they need to ensure they are treated fairly.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 15, 2015


Dave Conrath is no slouch.

He has served as the Dean of a Faculty at Stanford University; he also served as the dean of a Faculty at the University of Waterloo.
Retired from the academic world now, he currently serves as a member of the Board at Royal Botanical Gardens, he sits on the Board of Burlington’s Economic Development Corporation and serves as a volunteer on the Burlington Waterfront Committee.

Beachway 109 Willow

It went for more than half a million dollars – gives new meaning to the words: “location, location, location”.

Conrath has very strong views on what he thinks the city and the city and the Region are doing to the people who live on the Beachway. “This is spurious action” on the part of the Region” he said. To refer to a plan that has been sitting around for more than forty years and drag it out and treat it as a policy that has to be followed now is just plain wrong, he added.

“These people need to lawyer up” and get the help they need to ensure they are treated fairly.

Conrath lives in one of the lakeshore condos – is a big fan of the downtown core. During our interview with Conrath, Brian Dean, president of the Burlington Downtown Business Association happened along and joined us for a few minutes. Conrath began to talk about just what it is to live downtown. Dean was so impressed that he asked for a testimonial.

A close up view of the 30 homes that are xxx

A close up view of the 30 homes that the Region wants to demolish to develop the park.

The residents in the Beachway are discouraged, dispirited and depressed. They don’t feel they are listened to; they turn in a petition with more than 3000 signatures of people who walk through the Beachway on the old railway bed who want to see the homes remain – the petition gets the “receive and file” treatment at a council meeting.

They are told again and again that they will not be expropriated – that if their property changes hands it will be on a willing buyer/willing seller basis.

There is only one buyer – the Region and except for a few who see the chance to get a great price for their homes – there are few sellers.
Three homes have sold in the past three years – two of them were Estate sales. The other sale was to the Region by a person who worked for the Region. One can imagine the dynamic in play when that sale was made.

Beachway - Full park

This is the park the region has designed – views are mixed on whether or not this is the best way to develop the Beachway. This plan calls for the removal of all the homes. A couple of hundred people have seen the plan.

The Region has to either expropriate these people or move on says Conrath. They can’t continue to diminish these people this way, he added
There are some people in the expropriation field who will tell you that the home owners have rights that are recognized under the Expropriation Act.

Expect to see some professionals coming forward to advise the Beachway community.

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