Guelph-Eramosa council granted the developer at 42 Bedford Road a securities reduction of no more than $109,835 for the vacant land condo development.
At a council meeting in February, 1771186 Ontario Inc. asked for a similar securities reduction but was refused pending a plan to address grading issues on the site.
On July 17, township CAO Kim Wingrove told the Advertiser the developer’s plans for a retaining wall to prevent the backyards of Bedford Road residents from sliding any further down hill was approved by township engineering consultants and the developer was free to begin building the wall at any time.
The developer asked to reduce securities to $158,811 from $315, 274. However R.J. Burnside Associates Limited, the township engineering consultants, recommended keeping a minimum of $205,439 in securities.
The township uses securities on developments to ensure work is done correctly and reaches completion. The developer gives a cash security to the township for the value of the work that will be done on the property.
That way, if something goes wrong, the township has the funds to fix it readily available. As developers complete tasks on an agreed list, they can ask council to reduce the security and pay back the value of the completed item.
“We’re still going to have a significant amount of securities here to protect our interests and the interests of the residents,” Wingrove said at the meeting.
At a July 28 special meeting of council, councillor Corey Woods had some objections to the construction of the retaining wall. He said he had spoken to the current residents.
One of their large concerns, he said, was long-term maintenance of the wall.
“If this wall fails and their backyard caves in, if it’s an individual homeowner that has to fix it, they’re probably not going to fix it or have the money to fix it, where if it’s the condo corporation and it’s in the agreement that they have to put away securities it’s like a common element and they have to maintain it,” he said. “Then if something goes wrong there’s some money to fix it.”
Mayor Chris White said the wall will be built and signed off on by an engineer.
“So like anything else that’s constructed, should it fail in the future there would be remedies that come up at that time,” he said. He continued saying the township needs to make sure it has the authority to impose any restrictions or stipulations suggested.
The retaining wall will be built on the condo corporation’s land with a swale or strip of grass at the top separating the wall from the current Bedford Road homeowners’ property and fences.
Woods said residents had three main concerns: maintaining the trees, swale and wall and how water pressure from the hill will impact it.
“If a bunch of engineers look at this and they said they’re, fine I’ve got to assume that it’s fine,” he said.
With the immediate concern that backyards are falling down hill, council approved the securities reduction so construction on the retaining wall can begin and instructed a separate agreement be drafted to address the current residents’ concerns.