Resident disliked everything about meeting

A public meeting here on March 19 went well past its allotted time after Puslinch residents grilled representatives of Reid’s Heri­tage Homes about a proposed plan of condominium on the south side of County Road 34, at the corner of  Highway 6 and Highway 401.
Bev Wozniak, who lives across the road from the proposed development, in particular had a long list of questions for the developer.  In fact, Woz­niak was even opposed to the location, time, and date of the meeting itself.
She told Puslinch council the meeting should have been held at the Aberfoyle community centre, not so close to the Easter holiday, and not prior to a regularly scheduled council meeting.
Mayor Brad Whitcombe said after the meeting that the venue for the meeting was fine – everyone had a seat – as was the time and date.
“In my opinion it was a very successful meeting,” said Whitcombe.
Wozniak also raised concerns with almost every facet of the 75-unit estate home development, including the half-acre lot size she said is too small, plans for the on-site lake, and possible impacts the developments could have on local water supplies.
“This could be a disaster,” she said of the possible impact on nearby wells.
John Valeriote, legal representative for the Reid’s group, assured Wozniak there will not be any disaster. He explained to those  in attendance that the Reid’s application – on land formerly occupied by a gravel extraction operation – is not a new application.
The plans, which were changed several times to accommodate the concerns of nearby residents, have been around for years, he said.
Reid’s planner Bill Mac­Kinnon said the 229-acre site will feature “three distinct entities,” including:
– the lake, which encompasses 54 acres and will be the “focal point” of the development;
– natural environmental features, such as the MacCrimmon Creek, the nearby Mill Creek, and several “wetland pockets” on the property; and
– several pieces of land along the border of the property that were requested by the Ministry of Transportation for future improvements to High­way 6 and Highway 401.
MacKinnon said there will be a large berm on the east side of the property, along Con­cession 7, to provide a buffer from the Capital Paving  gravel pit on that road.
He also explained that two lots at the northwest corner of the development were removed be­cause they would infringe on the minimum distance of separation for the Wozniaks’ barn.
Wozniak then questioned what would happen if the barn is ever torn down. None of the Reid’s representatives wanted to speculate on “what-if” scenarios.
Resident Helen Purdy said she is concerned about the possible contamination of the local aquifer. She asked if the properties will be sharing septic beds.
Hal Lewis, Reid’s engineer-ing representative, replied that each lot will have its own well and its own tertiary treatment, which minimizes the impact on the lake as well as the creeks in the area.
Lewis also indicated that the local aquifer is more than capable of providing enough water for the 75 wells, without having an impact on the water supply of neighbours.
And the two planned stormwater ponds will interact very well with the rest of the property, Lewis added. When asked by Purdy, Lewis was unable to provide exact numbers for the capacity of the stormwater ponds, though he said it will be more than adequate.
The Reid’s delegation also assured residents there will be no motor boats allowed on the lake, though canoes, sailboats, and other non-motorized crafts will likely be permitted.
Lawyer Peter Pickfield, rep­resenting Capital Paving, called the development “a success story,” and said Capital would like to offer its support of the project. Reid’s and Capital met several times about “potential land use conflicts,” Pickfield said, adding Capital’s support is conditional on three “cornerstones:”
– that the buffer lands adjacent to Concession 7 be zoned open space specifically for the purpose of a buffer;
– that the height, length, exact location, and landscaping for the berm along that road be specified; and
– that the condominium corporation’s agreements with purchasers include a warning clause describing Capital’s nearby operations.
Purdy wondered if the agreements would comply with the Environmental Protection Act, which ensures “you can’t put people in harm’s way,” regardless of whether they sign an agreement or not.
Pickfield said the agreement does not ask anyone to “sign their health away.” Councillor Matthew Bulmer said he has no problem with the agreement as long as it is just to provide advanced warning that the pit is there.
If the agreement does not release Capital from it obligations and does not prevent people from lodging complaints, there should not be an issue, Bulmer said.
Other issues raised by residents were the possible necessity of groundwater monitoring, site grading to address high water levels, and specifics about zoning requirements.