A Cornwall developer alleges that the city conspired to 'blacklist' him following an unsuccessful land deal.


Well-known member
Jul 9, 2023
President of Rothmar Holdings in Cornwall, Aaron Bell has made an allegation that the city conspired against development plans he had by withholding building permits after he had refused to sell land he had acquired to the municipality. The claims have been denied by the city and they have questioned Rothmar's affordable housing plans.

Bell had declined the city's offers to buy his land which was what started the dispute and permits were allegedly withheld arbitrarily in 2022. $20 million is now being sought in damages by Rothmar, he is claiming the city's actions damaged his business. The city is saying that there was no formal proposal for affordable housing and a court date is set for January 2024.

A downtown business owner has been left unable to operate physically due to this dispute and now has to rely on sales online due to the withheld permit.

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Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
I'm with this Aaron Bell guy. The city should feel awful for this. Not only does this man not owe them this land, but to keep permits out of his hands as a sort of payback sounds bad. I doubt he will win $20M out of this case, but I think he should be given the permits if he's following all the appropriate rules.
Sounds like they were holding a bit of a grudge with this person, especially if they're blocking them from moving forward by keeping permits out of their hands. They might have a case though, $20M may sound like a lot, but if they kept them from building for years, they may have lost a lot of money in the process.
The refusal to sell land to the municipality appears to be the primary reason for the dispute. Land disputes can often lead to legal battles, I have seen this happening in many places. The allegation made by Aaron Bell is serious. This accusation will have significant legal implications, and I hope that there will be a fair and impartial investigation to determine who is right.
The dispute between Aaron Bell and the city of Cornwall underscores the challenges faced in land development and the potential consequences for both individuals and communities. The conflicting claims and lack of agreement on affordable housing plans emphasize the need for transparent and fair processes in such cases.