Lengthy opening day at Burl's Creek OMB climaxes with tense cross examination

On Tuesday May 24, 2016 the Ontario Municipal Board ("OMB") hearing on the temporary use by-law application for Burl's Creek Event Grounds begun. The hearing began with Burl's Creek calling Mr. Henry Regelink, an Oro-Medonte farmer, Sgt. Guiseppe Pileggi, an OPP Officer summonsed by Burl's Creek, a brief introduction by Mr. Darren Vella, a land-use planner for Burl's Creek, and Mr. Peter Thoma, a land economist and market expert.

Most notably, Mr. Thoma had told the board it was not reasonable to put the Wayhome and Boots & Hearts festivals anywhere else besides Burl's Creek. He came to this realization by both examining other concert festival sites in the province, including Canadian Tire Motor Sports Park in Clarington and Downsview Park in Toronto.

Mr. David Donnelly didn't think Thoma had looked hard – or far – enough. If the majority of the concert goers were coming from points south of the Holland Marsh, he said, why have them travel so far north?

“It would have been actually more convenient for people to come to a festival in King City than it would be all the way up here in Orillia?” Donnelly opined. “That's where they live.”

The cross-examination of Thoma was at times tense, with the land economist often appearing unamused with Donnelly's line of questioning.

Read the news coverage here.

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