Council supports planner's report denying OPA 0
COLLINGWOOD — The lawyer for a residential project in the west end of town told councillors they didn’t have the authority to consider a staff report on her client's development.
Tanya Nayler’s argued her client’s official plan amendment for the proposed Huntingwood Development on Silver Creek Drive was now before the Ontario Municipal Board, and it was not within the town’s jurisdiction to make a decision on a staff report.
However, councillors went ahead on Monday night, voting unanimously to support a report by planning director Nancy Farrer that the project’s OPA not be granted.
Nayler said her client waited 180 days – plus a year – before appealing the lack of a decision by council on the project. She added her client had made a number of requests of the town to schedule a public meeting for the project, and even on the eve of a pre-hearing before the board, the town still has not dealt with her client in any substantive way.
“This is out of the hands of council,” said Nayler, adding her client disagreed with the planner’s report, and the project was supportable.
A pre-hearing is scheduled for Oct. 31.
The application would redesignate the 121-acre parcel to allow a 437-unit residential project, with local commercial. The residential portion of the project would include 99 single detached units, 149 townhouse units, and 144 walk-up apartments.
The developers are also proposing to build a seniors' complex.
A portion of the property is presently zoned environmental protection, and rural. In a report to council from director of planning Nancy Farrer, the proposal is not consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement on land-use planning, as it constitutes "an inappropriate expansion of the municipality's available land supply beyond its projected needs.
"The efficient use of land, infrastructure and public service facilities is a theme reflected in a number of provincial policies and planning staff are of the view, based on many of the comments received, that there are more appropriate locations for growth," Farrer wrote in her report.
She also cited the position of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, which determined the proposal would place development within the regulatory floodplain and within the provincially-significant wetland area of Silver Creek.
“We do not deny applications on a regular basis, and it’s not something we do lightly or without giving the matter a great deal of consideration,” said Farrer.
Farrer said municipal staff have met with the proponents on a number of occasions since 2008, and the “issues have not changed to any degree in that time.”
She added that future subdivisions should be directed to within the town’s built boundaries, and as to the secondary plan, large-scale development should be postponed until the municipality has had the opportunity to take a substantive look at a number of matters, including servicing and transportation.