Hearing date set for supportive housing bylaw case between Brock, Durham

·2 min read

BROCK: A court date has been set for February 17th, in Superior Court, to hear the case between the Region of Durham and Brock Township regarding the supportive housing project dispute.

Durham Region’s Notice of Application, recently provided to The Standard, states there will be a hearing via video conference for this case.

According to the application, filed in late September, the Region of Durham is seeking “a declaration quashing Interim Control By-Law 2994-2000 of the Township of Brock for illegality and as being contrary to public policy.” However, the Region stated they will also accept “an interim order for an injunction restraining the respondent from implementing the By-law.”

In November, Brock Township councillors voted to pass an interim control bylaw “to prohibit the establishment of Supportive Housing and Modular Construction, including Manufactured Dwelling Houses, for a period of twelve months, in order to allow for the appropriate completion of further research and consultation.”

In their argument, the Region wrote the bylaw is “a form of people zoning” and claims the Township “passed the By-law in bad faith.”

The Region also shared, the intention of the bylaw was “to delay the commencement of the supportive housing project until such time as the Ontario government funding is withdrawn, and the project is effectively killed.”

The Interim Control Bylaw halted a planned 50 unit supportive housing project in Beaverton.

In a letter sent to the Region by Brock Township, in February of this year, the township stated this bylaw was just part of their due process.

“It is important to clarify, prior to each of the steps the Township has taken, in response to the Region’s proposed development, [the] Township of Brock, [meaning] the ‘Township’ Council, has sought and received the advice of its [legal] counsel, Loopstra Nixon LLP. All of these steps, taken by Brock Council, were made in good faith and in the public interest. They were not, as has been suggested by the Region, illegal, passed in bad faith, or contrary to public policy,” the letter read.

That letter also explained the Interim Control Bylaw was meant “to prohibit the establishment of Supportive Housing and Modular Construction developments until the Township has the time to review whether the Zoning By-law adequately regulates the appropriate location, use, development standards, total number, and separation distances of such developments.”

But the Region regards this bylaw as contrary to “the Ontario Provincial Policy Statement” and “section 38(7) of the Planning Act,” as well as “inconsistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.”

In a recent press release, Brock Township stated they will continue to work with their “solicitor and the Region of Durham’s solicitor in hopes of achieving a mutually beneficial agreement [which] addresses the concerns raised by Brock Council and its residents.”

Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper

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