BROCKTON – Stuart Doyle of Barry’s Construction and Drywall appeared as a delegation to council on Aug. 25 to request a one-year extension to the company’s draft plan of subdivision in Walkerton.
Doyls also requested a deferral of the $10,000 fee council implemented regarding the related road transfer agreement. The fee was to be imposed if the company asked for another extension, the purpose being, in Doyle’s words, “to keep our feet to the fire.”
The proposed subdivision is located in the vicinity of the north water tower.
In March, the municipality reached an agreement with the company regarding the sale of approximately 1.95 acres of land adjacent to the future Cunningham Road extension, for the purpose of allowing development on both sides of the road.
The addition of 22 lots on the far east side of the subdivision required changes to the draft plan of subdivision.
Unfortunately, that was about the time the COVID-19 pandemic emergency hit, making it difficult for Barry’s Construction. As Doyle explained, the company was able to keep going – somewhat – and has submitted the revised draft plan.
The company plans to meet with county and municipal officials in the coming weeks to finalize the design. The stormwater design has changed somewhat, making further consultation necessary.
Doyle told council the addition of the new land and the restrictions posed by COVID-19 mean “we are six to eight months behind where we would like to be.” The company is moving ahead with its plans, but needs a bit more time.
Mayor Chris Peabody told Doyle the municipality is “glad to welcome another developer to town.”
Coun. Steve Adams asked when the municipality could expect to see “shovels in the ground.” He added, “You have a beautiful piece of property up there,” and acknowledged COVID-19 had slowed the company down.
Doyle said the three-phase development should get going “either next year or the one after” depending on the planning process.
Coun. James Lang made it clear that while he understands the time challenges, he wants “something concrete next year.”
Doyle said the company plans to push forward with the road extension.
For Coun. Kym Hutcheon, it was a matter of wording. She wasn’t in favour of the word “waive” when it came to the $10,000 fee, but preferred “defer,” saying, “We want to see shovels in the ground next summer.”
The mayor agreed that at this point, a fine would be counterproductive. “It’s clear council is in favour of accommodating your request.”
There was also a brief discussion on the habitat for the endangered bobolink. “We have that covered now,” said the mayor. “We’re glad to have your development.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times