Grey County council has unanimously approved the Blue Vista plan of subdivision in The Blue Mountains.
At its committee of the whole meeting on July 14, council voted in favour of the subdivision which will create 82 single detached dwellings, 36 semi-detached dwellings (72 total individual dwelling units) as well as parkland, trails, stormwater management and road widening.
Planning Director Scott Taylor presented the report recommending approval to county council. Taylor said The Blue Mountains council had given the thumbs up to the proposal, conditional on the developer completing an agreement with The Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation on affordable/attainable housing.
“I’m happy to report that Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between (the corporation) and the developer,” said Taylor, who also praised The Blue Mountains council and staff for locating the development’s parkland in the southwest corner of the property near the parkland of other developments. “You will have a larger block of land for a more regional park.”
The Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever said his town is very pleased with the proposed subdivision and the developer’s response to local council’s concerns about affordable and attainable housing.
“The developer has entered into a MOU to include some affordable units on another development nearby. This development is providing a range of housing types,” said Soever.
The mayor also noted that town council had asked for a unit price range for the subdivision and was provided with the range of $660,000 to $1.5 million.
“If you ask, you will get an indication of what the pricing is,” he said.
Soever did question a portion of the planning report that said this area of the town was not suitable for affordable housing units. The mayor noted Blue Vista is next to the Windfall development, which provided affordable units. It is also located near the Village area and is on the Town of Collingwood public transit route.
“Is there any area of The Blue Mountains that is suitable?” Soever asked.
In response, Taylor said his report may have used poor wording with regards to affordable housing. He noted that Thornbury would be considered the ideal location for affordable units due to the community’s available amenities, but said Blue Vista was not without benefits as well.
“There is a lot going for this location,” said Taylor.
Chatsworth Mayor Scott MacKey noted a concern from the public about tree cutting that had been done at the site. MacKey asked if the county could require the developer to replace those trees.
Taylor said tree cutting is an issue the county has explored with the local conservation authorities and staff are working on a policy that will come forward as part of the county’s official plan amendment process.
“We’re hoping to get public and council input on that in the future,” said Taylor.
Soever also noted the town is working on policies with regards to tree cutting as well.
“Cutting down trees before a pre-servicing agreement has been a problem in The Blue Mountains,” he said. “We are in the process of bringing in a tree cutting bylaw. I caution other municipalities, it is very controversial,” he said.
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca