Approvals process for Walker West Estates hits snag

·2 min read

BROCKTON – A special meeting of Brockton council was held the afternoon of Aug. 17 to discuss a snag in the Walker West Estates conditional building permit agreement and site plan approval process.

As was stated in the report prepared by CAO Sonya Watson and Dieter Weltz, chief building official, the Walker West Estates subdivision is beginning to develop lots in phase two. While some of the lots have sufficient water pressure, the remainder will require the planned water booster pumping station coming online to meet guidelines established in the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The report indicated there are two options for proceeding – not to issue any kind of building permit until the booster pumping station is complete, or to issue conditional permits for the units. The Building Code Act allows a conditional permit to be issued if the owner enters into an agreement with the municipality.

A conditional agreement had been prepared and presented to council during the Aug. 10 closed session for consideration, with input from the municipality’s lawyer, and council had decided in favour of moving ahead with a conditional building permit. The special meeting was called after the developer voiced objections to clauses in the agreement.

As was discussed during the special meeting, the main clause to which the developer, Bill Clancy, objects, states that “the owner agrees to remove any buildings and restore the site to its original condition at the owner’s expense if the conditions cannot be met.” In other words, according to Clancy, if the pumping station doesn’t work for some reason, he’d have to demolish the housing units.

Nothing was resolved during the meeting. Clancy ended up asking if there’s a hall large enough for a meeting of the 91 people involved.

As was stated during discussion, the section of phase two in question consists of 13 townhouse units for seniors; all the units have been spoken for. By waiting until the booster pumping station is completed, occupancy would be delayed by a year, Clancy said.

Clancy stated the matter is simple – “Dieter (CBO Dieter Weltz) issues a permit, and right after, issues a non-occupancy agreement.”

Municipal staff say the matter isn’t quite that simple, with a requirement to stay within what’s legal and consistent.

Clancy said, “We’ll go to other communities.” He also has developments going up in Hanover.

Although a number of councillors expressed the desire for a solution that works for both sides, the matter is now in the hands of the municipality’s and Clancy’s lawyers.

The special meeting ended with a lengthy closed session, followed by a brief return to open council for adjournment.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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