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Mapleton refuses to support large residential lot in Alma

by David Meyer

MAPLETON TWP. - Councillors here told the county land division committee on Nov. 8 they cannot support the creation of a large residential lot in the southwest section of Alma.

The application was filed by Wild Goose Investments Ltd., which is owned by Raymond and Ruth Grose. The subject property is located at Part Lot 2, Concession 1, west of the Grand River, in the former township of Pilkington.

The company has applied to create a commercial and residential lot. It is seeking to sever an irregular-shaped, half-hec–tare parcel with an existing fuel depot, communications tower and shed. The second application would sever about a half hectare parcel for residential use. A 3.4 ha parcel would be retained.

Clerk Patty Sinnamon explained a new lot is subject to site plan control.

County planner Linda Redmond told council she had consulted with the applicants’ agent to ensure the site containing the fuel depot would be severed so all the parts of that depot, including the lane and parking lot, would remain on a single lot.

She said the “residential lot is considerably larger than the zoning bylaw allows.” It is almost 5,000 square metres, or “three times as big” as the current bylaw allows (1,400 square metres).

“I’m not sure it’s an efficient use of the land,” Redmond said. She would like to see a smaller residential lot. She noted the frontage is already 50 metres and 30 would be more common.

Sinnamon said the proposed parcel could accommodate 3.5 lots.

Mayor Bruce Whale asked what the standard lot size is in Alma.

Redmond replied what it takes to accommodate sewage disposal with a septic tank. She added the lot “could go smaller.”

Whale said he could support the comments on the site plan proposals.

But councillor Mike Downey asked, “Why are we supporting a residential lot on that commercial property? I’m not in favour.”

Whale noted the land is within the hamlet’s boundaries.

But Downey argued the land is zoned with a highway commercial designation, and added, “It’s pushing, pushing, pushing the envelope.”

Whale then suggested council could tell the land division committee council does not support the application.

Councillor Jim Curry said he supports Downey, and councillor Andy Knetsch added, “Me, too.”

Whale asked if it is because of the size of the residential lot.

Downey replied, “If we’re not in favour of the lot [designation to residential] why comment on the size.”

The land division committee hears councillors comments about severance applications. While that committee has the ultimate decision unless council fights it at the Ontario Municipal Board, it often heeds council comments.

Whale said the company has applied for that size of lot.

Downey said that “doesn’t matter” if council is opposed.

Redmond said it is important for council to make a statement if it has problems with an application. She noted if the severance application is approved by the committee, the zoning bylaw amendment still must return to council for approval. She asked if council wants to stop the application at the county level.

Downey said, “Yes. I’m flexible on commercial, but not on residential.”

Redmond asked if council will support the application only if the land remains commercial. Sinnamon said if that is so, council should state that.

Council added those comments and set its usual conditions about taxes, zoning compliance and copies of the plan if the committee goes against council’s wishes.

That resolution carried.

 

November 18, 2011

 
 

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