Development at 41 William Street moving ahead following OLT ruling

September 15, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Under pressure from the Ontario Land Tribunal, Orangeville council voted 4-2 to put the final approval on a development at the southwest corner of William St. and Hannah St.

On Sept. 12, council executed a consent agreement for 41 William Street, permitting the severing of a 2,690 square ft. lot from the southwest corner of the property that will be used to build a new single detached dwelling and semi-dethatched dwelling.

The proposed new lot didn’t meet the standards of the town’s Residential Second Density Zone, so the applicant, Duncan Shaw submitted a concurrent minor variance application to seek relief from these standards, which were denied by Orangeville’s Committee of Adjustment.

Shaw then applied to rezone the lands to permit the single dethatched dwelling severance and a new semi-dethatched dwelling towards the rear of the property.

Council refused the applicant’s rezoning request, and this decision, along with the minor variance application, were appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) by Shaw.

The rezoning request, consent to sever the lands and minor variance application for relief from residential density standards came before the OLT as one hearing on May 11, 2022 and was approved.

The OLT imposed conditions on the approval, such as entering a consent agreement with the town which puts obligations on the property owner when developing the new lots. These conditions include a satisfactory grading and servicing plan, submission of all required building spatial separation calculations, submission of satisfactory elevation drawings for the new dwellings, and carry out all tree protection measures and any compensation planting.

Coun. Todd Taylor, who voted against approving the consent agreement for 41 William Street, said he feels like he’s being pushed by the developer to give the project the final green light.

“I don’t like that feeling,” he said. “I don’t think the neighbourhood is going to enjoy that.”

However, Orangeville’s manager of planning, Brandon Ward explained the repercussions of not approving the consent agreement, such as legal costs and extra hours spent by town staff for the town to appeal the OLT’s decision.

“If this [consent agreement] were not to be endorsed, I think there would be a bit of a struggle as to understand where we go forward from here,” said Ward. “This is a simple fulfillment of a condition approved by the [Ontario Land] Tribunal through its approval of the application. And for the town to, I guess, not abide by that decision, I presume it would be referred to the tribunal and it would likely result in some further appearance before council to advise of next steps and further discussion on the matter.”

Coun. Grant Peters noted that the OLT has already made the decision on the application for 41 William St. and trying to fight it further than council already has isn’t going to yield a positive outcome.

“I don’t think it’s going to get us anywhere, it seems like a waste,” he said. “We were told before that that did not stand a good chance if it went to OLT. Obviously, that has come to fruition, so I think we should just put it through and see what happens next.”

Coun. Lisa Post, following Coun. Peters’ comments said she knows that council is now at the “rubber stamp” phase in the approval process but she’s going to vote against it from a “consistency of decision-making standpoint”.

“I will be voting against this recommendation today and it will be to stay consistent with the decisions and the conversations that I’ve had about this development, right from the very first time that it was brought to council,” said Coun. Post.

“The residents in this area are still very frustrated by kind of the process that this has taken. They feel like their voices weren’t heard, and we’re kind of still in that in that piece right now, so I will be voting against it.”

Coun. Taylor shared the same sentiment after Coun. Post’s remarks.

“I think you could probably put my comments here as being irrational, but in the same vein as Coun. Post, I just feel like I need to be consistent,” he noted.

“I do recognize the implications of what I’m doing by voting against that, and that means that there could be legal costs to the town. But based on principle on that area, I’ve never thought this development should be there, so I’m going to vote no as well.”

Coun. Peters reiterated his position on approving the consent application following Coun. Taylor’s comments.

“I think it’s a mistake to vote against this because of the potential costs and delays and staff time. I think these decisions can be treated independently. We had our chance to discuss the development in principle, that’s now gone, and for that reason, I’ll be voting in favor,” Coun. Peters explained.

The vote was called after Coun. Peters’ remarks and approved 4-2 with Coun. Debbie Sherwood, Coun. Joe Andrews, Deputy Mayor Andy Macinotsh, and Coun. Peters voting yes, while Coun. Post and Coun. Taylor voted no.

Mayor Sandy Brown recused himself from the discussion and vote as he had a conflict of interest in the matter.

Council’s next meeting is Sept. 26 at 7:00 p.m.

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