It may seem quiet at the air park but there is all kinds of strategizing going on. Has Vince Rossi fired his lawyers?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

June 29, 2104


Not a lot being heard about what is happening at the Air Park these days.  Other than the damage done to Appleby Line during the May rain storms where parts of the shoulder of the road were washed away there hasn’t been much news.

The Region went after the air park and wanted to know what was being done to manage the flow of water from a site that had been altered without site plan approval from the city.  There are reasons for the city asking that a site plan be submitted when the contours and elevations of a property are changed.

Heli-pad drawings Air park June 28-14

This is the drawing on the air park web site for a heli pad. They report that they are just waiting for potential tenants to sign on the dotted line.

When the air park lost their appeal of the decision from a lower court their legal team had to review their options; one of which is to seek leave to appeal the appeal court decision to the Supreme Court.  There is some scuttlebutt out there suggesting that Peter E. J. Wells and his colleague Glenn Grenier are no longer “on the case”.


Glenn Grenier, second from the left, gets an earful from former city manager Jeff Fielding while city solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol and Blake Hurley look on.

So now what?

Well if you go to the air park web site Vince Rossi has a notice of his plans for developing a heliport.  The following appears on the air park web site:

If you’ve been out to the airport recently, you will notice work starting on the southwest portion of the filed. This area is predetermined as a dedicated heliport area and we’re excited about getting things going on that portion of the field.

Since we started advertising the plans for that phase 2 area, we have been fielding calls from interested tenants, and we are sure that there will be a few helicopters located there soon.

As things develop there, and we actually do secure some tenants we will do our best to keep all informed about traffic and the mix of fixed wing and rotary aircraft.

That is interesting news.  The city has pulled together its legal team and is working through their options once the deadline for a Supreme Court appeal has passed.

Given what the city has invested in this file – it is reasonable to expect they will stay the course and do what should have been done five years ago when Rossi was peddling the “we are federally regulated” line that held water for a number of years at both the Regional and city level.

What should give the people of rural Burlington considerable comfort is that General manager Scott Stewart is on this file.  Stewart is a bit of a bull dog, he earned his stripes in Hamilton where he was part of that city’s administration.  He tends not to take prisoners.  H e threw his hat in the ring when the city had to go looking for a new city manager after parting ways with former city manager Roman Martiuk.  Scott wasn’t selected – council instead chose to hire Jeff Fielding and while Fielding certainly put a higher level of oxygen in the air at city hall he tended to be a 30,000 foot thinker and relied heavily on Scott Stewart to execute the big picture.

The two worked very well together.  With Fielding in Calgary and Pat Moyle serving as interim city manager even more of the decision making falls on Stewart’s shoulders.  Moyle will certainly understand the bigger picture and brings his six years as CAO at the Region to the table – but it is Stewart who knows where all the bones are buried.

Expect him to be very smart and very firm.  The city probably still has Ian Blue on some form of retainer able to give sound advice.

It is going to be a different game once it is clear the case will not be going to the Supreme Court.

What can the public expect?  Is Rossi going to be able to build a heliport that is less than 25 yards away from the driveway of a private residence?

Airpark aerial used by the city

Is there some additional land assembly that should be done here?

Where do the sound by laws come into play here?  When Michael Lee Chin flies  into his property on Kerns Road with his private helicopter city hall hears about it real quick if the noise is too loud and the necessary accommodations are worked it.  The people of Appleby Line deserve the same treatment the good folks over at Tyendaga get.

Our sense is that Michael Lee Chin has a lot more clout than Vince Rossi and if Lee Chin can respect the rights of other, Vince Rossi can learn to do the same thing.

The Sheldon house was built in 1850 on what was then a 200 acres  farm.  At some point the land was severed into a nice rural lot and the house with a fed pond. The rest is now part of the air park.

The Sheldon house has been there much longer than the air park.  If the air park wants to develop their property let them do what every other developer has to do – buy out those properties that are needed for expansion or to be able to comply with regional and municipal planning.

Rossi seems to have decided that he will harass and do work on his property that limits the ability of a property owner to enjoy the rights everyone else in Burlington has with the way they are able to enjoy peace and quiet.

The Rossi development has devalued the property at the edges of the air park.  Rossi is doing what slum landlords do – damage the value of property to lower its price and then go in and buy it as a fire sale price.

There are three property owners on Appleby Line who need to be done right by.  Let’s see how city hall fights for the rights of these property owners and what it does to ensure that air park development works for the city and not just a developer who has difficulty with the city’s bylaws.

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1 comment to It may seem quiet at the air park but there is all kinds of strategizing going on. Has Vince Rossi fired his lawyers?

  • “Since we started advertising the plans for that phase 2 area, we have been fielding calls from interested tenants, and we are sure that there will be a few helicopters located there soon”

    Wonderful…. more noise to deal with late at night/early morning…..great!