Minto council denies company’s request for building permit extension

Golden Canadian Homes plans to create industrial mall in building in Palmerston Industrial Park

MINTO – A request by Golden Canadian Homes for a 15-month extension to prepare for development of a Palmerston Industrial Park property has been denied by council here.

“We do not feel comfortable at all with a 15-month extension,” said interim CAO Chris Harrow at the Sept. 6 meeting.

“We feel this builder has had lots of time to get their plans and everything read.”

In December, Golden Canadian Homes purchased industrial property located at 345 Minto Road and was required to obtain a building permit within a year, and to start construction within a year after that.

The company previously told council it planned to create an industrial mall in a building between 23,000 and 60,000 square feet on the 3.6-acre parcel of land at 345 Minto Road.

Last month, Mohsin Samdanu requested an extension on the deadlines until March 2024.

According to a report to council prepared by township staff Belinda Wick-Graham and Terry Kuipers, Samdanu attributed delays “to [COVID], staffing issues with their architect’s office and material delivery delays.”

“In discussion with his contractor, they feel that they could not obtain a building permit prior to Dec. 16, 2022 or within a six-month extension period that staff had recommended approval for in the past,” the report to council states.

(The purchase agreement allows for a maximum extension of six months.)

It has been nine months since the sale closed, and staff believe site design and building could have been completed by now.

“The town only has two other serviced parcels remaining and with the interest that we have for industrial land, staff cannot in good faith recommend to council a 15-month extension,” the report states.

If Golden Canadian Homes is not ready to move ahead, the town has no qualms with purchasing the property back and reselling it, Harrow said.

That could be done for 90 per cent of the purchase price, less legal and transfer costs.

Councillor Ron Elliott said he wasn’t sure if half a year was even reasonable and asked if staff would feel comfortable with a six-month extension.

Harrow said staff have received “mixed messages” from the builder about a timeline.

“Why the 15-month extension, we’re not sure,” he said, but he noted staff are comfortable with a six-month extension.

“We think we’re being overly nice at six,” Mayor George Bridge said.

“But at the end of the day, we want to work with people that have put some time and effort into it.”

Councillor Judy Dirksen agreed with the suggestion.

Council denied the 15-month-extension requested by Samdanu, and will respond with a counter offer of six months.

If accepted, Golden Canadian Homes will owe $12,600 for the extension, with the amount to be refunded if commitments are met.