Skyline development can't deviate from current draft plan, Tay mayor says

·3 min read

Tay Township council is 'pro-development,' but expects the progress to be done in a reasonable fashion.

And that's exactly what the municipality hopes will happen in the case of Skyline's intentions to develop the 850 acres of waterfront property it owns in Port McNicoll, said Mayor Ted Walker.

"There's not a lot of property there that's on the water anymore," he added, noting he wasn't aware of company's claim that it was allowed to develop 1,500 units on the property. "Most of the development would be inland.

"It could be that the new person or person are planning a different density," said Walker, speculating about the plans of the new 'secret' local developer, with whom Skyline has recently announced it has reached a deal.

Walker said he would expect development in that area to follow what is already on Bay Street, Bourgeois Beach and Anderson Crescent.

"I'm thinking 50-foot lots," he said. "The number (also) depends on the size of the property and our capacity sewage wise. I know that in Port McNicoll we're fine that way, but in Victoria Harbour we're getting tight."

Walker said there will also be environmentally-protected zones on the property, indicated in a county overlay map. He added he couldn't see a problem with council objecting to development.

"I think council is pro-development, generally as a whole," said Walker, "but we would also expect that it be done in a reasonable fashion, within the existing nature of our (other) subdivisions,"

Steve Farquharson, general manager, protective and development services manager of planning and development services, was able to confirm via email that Skyline has an approved subdivision draft plan, which was passed in 2014.

"The total number of proposed residential lots within the draft-plan approved subdivision is 324, including the proposed hotel," he wrote in an email.

Farquharson said the 1,500-unit approval could be a number Skyline is presenting, including additional lands outside of the approved draft plan. Anything beyond what's already been approved, he added, would require additional planning applications and approvals.

"It’s important to note that these are draft plan approved and would only be fully approved once all conditions of draft-plan approval have been cleared," he said. "The draft plan approval for this plan of subdivision was granted an extension until January 15, 2023. If the conditions are not completed by that time, the applicant can apply to Council for another extension."

The draft-plan clause that outlines the number of residential dwellings that can go on the lot lists a total of 174 units (101 single detached dwellings, 26 townhouse dwellings and 47 apartment units). It's also approved for a township park block, three environmental protection blocks, three environmental buffer blocks, an open-space block, three future development blocks, reserves and public highways.

The 150-unit condominium/hotel is independent of this residential clause.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,