Truck routes an issue at Alton meeting

February 11, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Questions remain regarding the large Alton Mills subdivision, now under construction, but relatively little in the way of opposition.

About 100 people were out at a public session last Wednesday hosted by the Town of Caledon. The main concern, raised several times, was how the construction equipment will get to the site.

David Loveridge, director of public works for the Town, said the plan is to bring trucks along Queen Street West, from the intersection with Main Street. He said both Main and Queen East, as Regional Road 136, are provincially approved haul routes, and were the closest ones to the site. There were several calls to have Mississauga Road to the west as the route.

One man called the Queen Street idea “stupidity,” and Mr. Loveridge quickly took responsibility.

For one thing, he pointed out that the stretch of Mississauga Road near the site is a Town road, and would not be up to the demands that a lot of trucks would put on it. He added the Town could have asked the developer to use Mississauga, but only if the developer were to agree to pay to have the road fixed after the work is done. He elected to use Queen, although the Town has asked that trucks approach from the north, thus not passing Alton Public School. He added the Town can only make the request. It doesn’t have the authority to enforce it.

Some people were still not satisfied.

One woman said she had been told by a former councillor that Mississauga Road would be the truck route.

“Somehow, somebody changed the rules in midstream,” she remarked.

Another man said he works for a large gravel contractor, and the rules are clear when it comes to truck routes.

“We don’t get to pick,” he said. “We get told.”

Councillor Barb Shaughnessy said these things were established years ago by the Ontario Municipal Board.

Some people at the session wondered what will happen when the building of the homes starts, and when they’re finished. One man said there will be about 200 cars using Queen Street to get in and out.

One woman noted there are stop signs at the intersection of Queen and James Streets, just east of the site.

“Could you please make them (the stop signs) enormous, because the construction vehicles go through them all the time,” she declared.

A couple of people suggested paving Mississauga Road north to Highpoint Sideroad, and then to the east to Main Street, effectively creating a bypass for Alton.

Mr. Loveridge said it would cost about $1.4 million to turn Mississauga Road into a truck route, which would add about three per cent to the taxes every homeowner in Caledon would have to pay.

One man said the Town should have had the foresight to do that in the early 1990s.

Councillor Doug Beffort commented that when the subdivision agreement was signed, Mississauga was still a gravel road. The Town paved it south to Charleston Sideroad, making it the only Town-owned road that’s a haul route.

“It’s the biggest headache we have,” he said.

Mr. Loveridge said if people want these roads improved, they should lobby their councillors. But he added people in places like Cheltenham and Bolton want their roads improved too.

While some at the meeting seemed less than enthused at the thought of the subdivision, one woman closed the session by pointing out if it had not been to the prospect of the development, the new Alton School, which opened a little more than a year ago, but not have been built.

“We have to keep this in perspective,” she said.

The developer is Jerry Humeniuk. The current plan is to develop 111 homes and 3.2 kilometres of new internal roads on the property at the southeast corner of Mississauga Road and Queen Street.

The proposal has been discussed for some time. One issue that has been raised deals with drainage on the site.

“We have huge drainage issues in all parts of Alton,” Mayor Allan Thompson observed.

Mr. Loveridge told the audience there are a number of matters his department has to have addressed, such as storm sewers, street lights, sidewalks, etc., and all of these features have to be installed according to engineering standards. That means the developer has a lot of conditions to fulfill.

He said the infrastructure was supposed to be in place in November, but “I was being a pain in the butt.”

Mr. Loveridge said he had raised matters of a storm water management pond and the need to make sure the storm water fed into it.

The pond is supposed to be piped into nearby Shaw’s Creek. But when it came time to install the pipe, crews ran into rock and other difficulties they hadn’t been expecting.

He added the pipe won’t be opened until the Town has complete assurances that the water flowing through it will be clean. The water leaving the site is being monitored. “I had staff there on a regular basis,” Mr. Loveridge declared.

There are also plans for improvements on Queen.

Mr. Loveridge said there are a number of potholes there that need to be fixed. Sidewalks are also going to be needed, providing residents of the subdivision a safe way to get into the hamlet and students a safe way to get to the school.

One Shaw’s Creek Road resident was worried about his well, seeking guarantees that his water will not be impacted.

Mr. Loveridge said there shouldn’t be a problem, pointing out water for the development will be coming from the Peel Regional system, at the developer’s expense.

Ms. Shaughnessy said the water will be coming from a Regional well in the area of Highway 10 and Beechgrove Sideroad. She added that well also serves Caledon village and Mono Mills.

Concerns were expressed about the number of trees that have come down on the site.

Mr. Loveridge said it was necessary to strip away the site to get infrastructure in. He added there will have to be a landscaping plan in place, and that the developer will have to pay to get new trees in.

He also said each home will have its own septic system. The plan is to use Tertiary Septic Systems.

The plan also includes using LED lighting. Mr. Loveridge said it will result in a reduction in the amount of energy used.

Mr. Loveridge couldn’t give any information on how long the development will take. The market will decide the sale and building of the houses, but he said his guess is there won’t be any actual home construction in 2015, but all the infrastructure should be in place by the end of the year.

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