Spall stalls project request

Developers' bid to defer preparation of a water and sanitary sewer servicing study has been denied

A request from a handful of developers to defer preparation of a water and sanitary sewer servicing study in the township’s southeast sector’s north sub area has been denied by council.

In December 2012, the council of the day passed first reading of an official community plan amendment bylaw proposing to change future land use designations of properties in the north sub area from large holdings and residential to a combination of residential, low- and  medium-density multi-family residential, small holdings, commercial, public institutional and open space.

Council of the day also declared that prior to second reading, the developer had to come up with and pay for engineers’ report on water capacity and a waste water treatment method.

“The process then stalled, partly because of the recession and partly because of the cost of the potential studies that needed to be done,” said Peter Nicolson to council, representing the developers.

“Here we are. The applicant is ready to go further with development.”

Nicolson told council he is representing fouror five different land owners covering about 1,000 acres in the north sub area. To do extensive studies involving the whole area would require knowing what each owner wants to put in there and have all landowners in agreement.

“At this point, the likelihood of that just doesn’t work,” said Nicolson, stating what they would like to see done now is pass the OCP amendment, then the individual owners can decide what they want to put in the sub area in a phased way.

“This is a 25-to-30-year project to develop the whole area,” he said. “If individuals are allowed to go by themselves, they can go at their own time. The product will change.

“If you build it in phases, you can do the studies required for the first two-to-three phases then, after that, you see what happens. Until you know the density and know what people want, how do you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for something that could be redundant?”

Coun. Todd York said his concern is that, originally, the proposal for the north sub area was a large conceptual idea.

Now, said York, things are “miles and miles away from where we started.”

“Doing it one at a time is completely going around what the plan originally was,” said York, adding he has “real questions about the water.”

“If we proceed with incorrect assumptions about things; if we’re wrong about the water and we end up with a long road, a dozen country residential five-to-10-acre lots, it’s going to be a financial loss for the community,” said York.