Grey County council has approved the subdivision plan to put 29 houses near the Homestead golf course at Wilder Lake in Southgate Township.
The proposal by local developer Randy Bye will see 3,300 sq. ft. houses built on one-acre lots on private services.
Mr. Bye looks forward to construction possibly starting next year. Lengthy consultations with multiple regulatory bodies began about three years ago.
An addendum to the Grey County planner’s report stated that the concerns raised by local residents “have been addressed either through draft plan conditions or through technical/agency review.”
Further, the input received “helped to make an informed recommendation and decisions.
There are a number of conditions attached to the approval, and the subdivision agreement will incorporate wording from SVCA about lot grading, drainage and stormwater.
The Grey County summary listed about 15 individuals or couples who had submitted comments.
The report listed each concern or comment separately and stated how it had been addressed. A common concern of residents of the area was the impact on the lake, both from use and on the water quality as algae growth is being monitored there.
Tom and Heather Arnott, for example, told the Herald that they are not opposed to the project, but they want to ensure conditions were put in place that mitigate the effect of 29 homes on noise, light and the results of a more intense recreational use of the lake.
The county report said that “best practices” to minimize effects on the lake from recreational use will be part of the environmental management plan. That document will be part of the subdivision agreement and registered on title.
The development also will have a 30-metre setback from the lake with berms and plants for buffering any run-off. That is much farther back than existing cottages at the site, most of which Mr. Bye said are being removed this year.
The environmental studies that were done and then peer-reviewed by Southgate’s engineering firm, said private services should not affect lake quality. The hydrogeological studies confirmed that the underground flow of water is away from the lake.
The property being developed is at 263512 Southgate Rd. 26, on the west side of Wilder Lake, which is less than 10 km southeast of Durham. About 50 acres of the 125-acre property with golf course would be part of the subdivision development.
The plan approved also contains one lot with the existing buildings associated with the golf course, three stormwater management blocks, one dock block, easements, and a future road (Sunny Rock Drive).
Developer Randy Bye said that the dock block is an important shared amenity for all the houses. As such, he is following advice to form a condo corporation for the dock, with each of the 29 freehold houses as a member, and one share for the resort.
The Arnotts, who live at Wilder Lake, also wonder whether any of the new homes will be used as Air BnB-type income properties, with potential of “neighbour” issues developing.
Southgate at present does not have a bylaw to regulate short-term accommodation; however, after numerous issues in Grey Highlands, that municipality has a system to inspect, licence and monitor any operations with penalties including licence suspensions and steep fines which are added directly to property taxes.
At Grey County Council, Southgate Deputy-Mayor Brian Milne declared an interest and did not participate in the discussion or vote on the matter, as he is related to the developer.
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald