Erin Glen developer appealing Erin council decision

ERIN – The Town of Erin is being taken to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) by developers over a March 9 council decision.

The tribunal makes binding rulings in disputes regarding land use planning.

Town staff presented council with a list of 32 proposed technical zoning amendments with the intent of bringing clarity and consistency to how development happens in Erin.

Included was a recommendation to make daylight triangles smaller, because the current standard does not reflect new urban development standards.

Also known as a sightline triangle, the triangular area is used in planning to determine how much land on a corner lot needs to be kept clear so pedestrians and drivers can safely navigate the corner.

At the March meeting, councillor Bridget Ryan proposed the length used in calculating the area be kept at nine metres throughout town, instead of staff’s recommendation to reduce it to six metres in specific scenarios.

Ryan explained her proposal supported a “sentiment” among residents that more “breathing space” is desired in new developments.

“I strongly feel it will affect the character of our town going forward,” she said at the March meeting, adding a reduction to the triangle size to pack in more housing negatively affects space and breathability.

Ryan also emphasized road safety in rural communities with farm equipment travelling on roadways.

An artist’s rendering of the ongoing Erin Glen development, contained in a promotional brochure from Solmar Development Corp.


Her call received pushback from councillors John Brennan and Jamie Cheyne, who questioned the merit of such a decision and its possible implications.

Brennan and Cheyne suggested staff return with a professional planning opinion and more information before they would be comfortable voting on their colleague’s proposed amendment.

But Ryan held her ground and the amendment passed in a 3-2 vote, with Brennan and Cheyne abstaining.

The decision caught the attention of Marotta family companies, which are behind a 289-acre mixed-use development known as Erin Glen, sandwiched between Dundas Street East and Wellington Road 124 in Erin.

KLM Planning Partners had submitted comments to the town, on behalf of the developers, about daylight triangle requirements on several occasions in 2022, requesting the size be reduced.

KLM noted discrepancies between Erin’s engineering standards and zoning requirements.

The discrepancies were again noted in an April 6 letter from Davies Howe LLP, a Toronto-based law firm, notifying the OLT of an appeal of council’s decision by Northern Capital Corporation and National Properties Inc.

Both companies are linked to the Marotta family and Solmar Development Corp.

The letter argues the town’s triangle requirement is “excessive,” can’t be accommodated on smaller lots, isn’t supported by current planning policy, won’t affect visibility and “is not in the public interest.”

If the appeal moves forward into the hearing stage, it would mark the second time Erin has been brought before the tribunal over the development.

In a 2021 decision, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal — the OLT’s former iteration — ruled the town’s official plan and zoning bylaw had to be amended and a draft plan of subdivision be approved, to allow for the Erin Glen development to proceed.

A pre-merit hearing has yet to be scheduled regarding the recent appeal.