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Matchette Rd Bid Keeps Big Box Feud Brewing

Save Ojibway leader Nancy Pancheshan, standing beside Matchette Rd

Get ready for another brawl at Windsor City Council over Matchette Rd.

Sometime this summer, after sitting on its duff for close to two years, City Hall administration is expected to deliver the answer to a Council question, posed on September 9, 2014 as follows . . . That Administration BE DIRECTED to prepare a report for Council’s consideration outlining the process to close Matchette Rd., including information on the process for an environmental assessment and options on how such a study could be funded.

The question, moved by former Councillor Fulvio Valentinis, seconded by Councillor Irek Kusmierczyk, was triggered by a plea from Russ Jones, a field biologist who was one of many delegations from the small, but growing, local environmental community who have opposed the Coco Paving’s Big Box development abutting the Ojibway Park Complex, for a decade.
Council, at a marathon two day meeting started on September 8th, gave the green light to an agreement with Coco allowing the 400,000 square foot shopping monster to proceed in exchange for 10.4 acres (4.19 hectares) of land conveyed to the city to help buffer the natural area from 14.97 hectares of hard concrete for endless parking and commercial development along Matchette Road and Sprucewood Avenue. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), a few months later, approved the agreement over the vigorous objections of Save Ojibway appellants Nancy Pancheshan and Lynn Meloche.

As a small consolation, the Friends of Ojibway Prairie came away with an ardent hope that Council would eventually vote to close Matchette Rd., from Titcombe Road, across from the Ojibway Nature Centre, to Sprucewood, a distance of some 1.1 kilometres.

FEATURE PHOTO BY ALAN HALBERSTADT: Save Ojibway leader Nancy Pancheshan, standing beside Matchette Road next to the Tallgrass Prairie Reserve, has two government petitions on the go with the faint hope of altering Coco Paving’s Big Box Development.

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