Grey County council has given the thumbs up to the Eden Oak Camperdown subdivision in The Blue Mountains.
County council at its committee of the whole meeting on July 14, voted to approve the subdivision that will create 33 single detached residential units on a property on Old Lakeshore Road. The Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever and Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon voted against approval of the subdivision.
The committee of the whole vote must be ratified at county council’s next regular meeting on July 28.
“From a staff perspective, the proposed plan confirms with the county and town official plans,” said Grey County Deputy CAO Randy Scherzer.
Representatives from The Blue Mountains followed up on their local council’s vote to withhold approval of the subdivision and voted against the county’s recommendation that subdivision proceed. The town’s primary concern is that the subdivision does not include any affordable or attainable housing units. Although town council rejected the proposal over the lack of affordable/attainable housing units, it was largely a symbolic effort as Grey County is the approval authority for subdivisions
In addition, the town was concerned about hazard lands that will be transferred to the town after the development is complete. The lands in question are a significant slope and the town wants to ensure the stability of the slope before taking ownership.
Soever asked Scherzer if the county had provided the developer with the county’s healthy development checklist and if the developer had been asked to provide a price point for the units. Scherzer said the checklist would have been provided as part of the pre-consultation, but noted this development application pre-dated the county’s current official plan. He said the price point was difficult to determine at this time.
Soever noted that town council questioned the developer’s planner at length and was able to ascertain a price point of $1.9 million to start.
“We do have a concern. It’s serving a very narrow range of the market,” said Soever. “We are concerned we aren’t meeting a range of housing types.”
Scherzer reiterated the county’s position that the county does not have planning tools to require a certain number of affordable or attainable units on a development. He also said Eden Oak, which is located between Thornbury and Collingwood is not an ideal location for those types of units as it is a distance for urban service areas.
Southgate Deputy Mayor Brian Milne asked if the Town of The Blue Mountains official plan limitation on density was a limitation for the price points of units. Scherzer said that would be an issue, noting that in the recreational resort zone 10 units are allowed per hectare, while in other zones 20-25 units are generally permitted.
“Do densities have an impact on price point? Absolutely,” said Scherzer.
Soever said that Coun. Milne was correct in his concern about density and said the town is working to fix that issue.
“I’m hoping we can resolve that through our Official Plan update,” said Soever. “If it acts like a settlement area, it should be called a settlement area and not something halfway in between.”
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca