Resident wants former road allowance turned over at no cost

To call Paul Brown an unhappy camper these days might be a bit of an understatement.

Brown was at council here re­cently to discuss the closing of a 33 foot road allowance which, at one time, was to be an extension of Raglan Street in Palmerston.

Mayor David Anderson said that Brown was at council last year to discuss the transfer of that road allowance.

“There has been some misconception about the legal costs involved in the transfer of the property,” Anderson said. He said Brown was invited to the meeting to discuss the matter.

Brown, however, said his position is clear. Originally, he had objected to severances being proposed at the Well­ing­ton County Land division involving TG Minto and Char­ter Homes. What was being proposed eliminated one half of the former municipal road allowance on what would have been the Raglan Street extension.

However because of changes needed at TG Minto and a revised plan of subdivision proposed by Charter, the Raglan road extension was nipped in the bud. That left a 33 foot road allowance in the municipality’s name adjacent to Brown’s property.

Brown asked that the land be transferred to him.

His argument was that when the land was purchased some 20 years ago, Palmerston re­quired that the road allowance be severed and given to the municipality for the proposed road extension.

He said two lots were severed at the back of his property in the anticipation the road would proceed at some point.

Brown said on that basis, those lots would generate retirement value of $100,000.

When he first became aware of TG Minto’s plan and that the road would not longer proceed, he filed an objection with the land division committee. He said documents provided at that time indicated he would be willing to withdraw the objection if the land were returned at no cost.

Brown is concerned that at no time in his discussion with Minto was there any indication that he would be responsible for legal costs of the transfer.

“I don’t know how much plainer I can be,” he said.

Brown said he assumed the discussions with the town were based on him not incurring any cost. Typically, when former road allowances are transferred to residents, the residents are responsible for those costs.

However, until he received the bill, there were no discussions about him footing the bill. He insisted that his presentation to the county land division committee was that he had only been prepared to remove his objection if Minto gave him the land at no cost.

The municipality did not have copies of those documents and Brown was in­formed that the total land division records are not typically forwarded to the municipal level unless specifically re­ques­ted.

He contended that if he had known he would have to pay the costs, he would have continued his objections at the county level.

Now, he said, it is too late.

Mayor David Anderson be­lieved the municipality had acted in good faith, and offered apologies for the misunderstanding.

Anderson added that in most cases of similar land trans­fers, it is the residents who pick up the legal costs.

Brown argued that since he is the original owner, he should not have to pay those costs.

Anderson again noted that Minto council was not privy to the document Brown was speak­ing of, so it was not a factor in its original decision. He told Brown that the municipality will request the information from the county.