Appeal on Countryview lots in the trees to be heard in January

Proposed lots in a bush lot at Countryview Estates which recently the subject of an Ontario Land Tribunal hearing. It cost Petrolia $33,600. The town has now approved a $10,000 fee to charge back to developers involved in tribunal hearings to cover the town's legal costs.

Petrolia has a date with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal in January to defend its decision to allow 17 acres of bush to be removed to complete Countryview Estates.

Developer Bob Leaper says the original plan of subdivision laid out the 74 lots in 2007, however in between, the land was rezoned as significant woodlot. Council rezoned it residential in May.

That caused a stir among neighbours – one of whom launched an appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

It also raised the ire of a neighbouring farmer.

Racher Farms has filed an appeal for both the Countryview rezoning and another for Spectra Development on Valentina and Edward Street – a 24 home development

One of Racher’s lawyers, Anthony Petrucci, says Racher’s farm abuts both developments and people living within the bounds of Petrolia often creep out onto his farmland. Petrucci says Racher finds people on the lots near the field using his property for things like fire pits or dumping garbage and it can cause damage to his equipment.

Racher did reach an agreement with Spectra and that housing development is moving ahead.

Meantime Leaper, who says 15 people are ready to buy lots in the new subdivision in the trees, will have to wait until at least January to see if his work can move forward. It’s not clear how long the tribunal will take to give a decision.

Leaper hopes if the appeal fails, he can move ahead in the spring.