Fairbank apartment plan appealed; could take a year before a decision

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An appeal has been filed which could slow plans for an apartment complex on the grounds of one of Petrolia’s historic homes.

The owner of Sunnyside Mansion or Fairbank House as it is known locally, wants to build a 16-unit apartment building on the grounds. The idea sparked concern among historians and over 2,000 people signed a petition against the move.

But David Burnie’s plans cleared the first hurdle after Petrolia’s Committee of Adjustment gave permission for two buildings to be cited on the property.

Petrolia Deputy Clerk Mandi Pearson confirms just before the Feb. 5 deadline, an appeal was filed on that decision.

This week, she forwarded all the information to the Ontario Municipal Board, which will hear the case. Pearson was not able to release the name of the person who appealed.

Lambton County Planner Rob Nesbitt says even scheduling a hearing with the OMB can take up to six months. He suspects it could take over a year before a decision is made, holding up the project until then.

Nesbitt says it is likely the objection is based on one of two arguments, an apartment building is not minor in nature or that the project is “not appropriate for the lands.”

Geoff Dale, the engineer on the apartment complex project, had just received the appeal notice when contacted by The Independent and offered no comment.

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