Plympton-Wyoming rejects 26 homes at Hillsborough

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Plympton-Wyoming councillors won’t allow Southside Developments to build 26-single detached homes on the very edge of the municipality – five more than allowed by the zoning.

The company, which convinced council to change the zoning on the agricultural land last year, went to council in Jaunary with a plan to build a 27 single-detached condominium development. The zoning on the land now would allow 21 homes.

Neighbours and councillors questioned the move saying the development “crams a lot of homes” into a small area surround right now mainly by farmland and cottages.

Southside contends all the development is in line with what the province is looking for in housing now “residential intensification which is compact and makes efficient use of land and services.”

Council asked staff to meet with the developers to see if they would be willing to alter the plan. Staff reported at the Feb. 26 meeting Southside would be willing to build 26 homes instead of 27. Councillor Mike Vasey called the effort “a waste of time” adding the development crammed a square peg into a round hole.

Councillor Alex Boughen says while he supports development, this isn’t the right place for it and he believes the town’s official plan backed that up. “The vibe I got is we need to build the core out and it says avoid density at the northern point.”

Councillor Kristen Rodrigues added this area shouldn’t be the focus of grow because it a secondary settlement area. “The surrounding community has minimal infrastructure and largely is really a cottage settlement area.”

While he didn’t support the proposal, Councillor Bob Woolvett questioned whether denying it would end in a legal battle at the Ontario Land Tribunal.

CAO Adam Sobanski said it is possible. And it would be costly.

“If the developer chooses to take us to the OLT, because the planning department did support the recommendation, they would like to be called in as expert witnesses on the behalf of the developer… we would like we have to go out and hire a third party planner to represent our opinion. From what I hear today that opinion would be that the proposal does not meet the intentions of the Official Plan; and then we’d have to find a planner to defend that perspective.”

Council then rejected the project.