Site plan and removal of holding provision approved for 301 Jolliffe Ave. Rockwood

Development at 301 Jolliffe Ave. the Seaton Granite Homes property in Rockwood is set to move forward.

Council approved the removal of the holding provision and the site plan at the June 15 meeting.

Township planning associate Kelsey Lang said the property site plan proposed 21 stacked townhouse style apartments varying from two bedroom to three bedroom units.

“This project has a number of unit types and sizes that will cater to what we think will be a market that doesn’t exist in Rockwood right now,” said Jeremy Grant of Seaton Granite Homes at the meeting.

In 1995 the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) created a bylaw allowing residential development on the site but put a holding provision on the property so commercial development couldn’t be started without township input, Lang said.

“Holding provisions are established on properties to make sure that they aren’t developed before we have all the information that we need,” Lang explained. “In this case because you could have service uses on the property, (a) market impact study would be what would be required to remove the holding provision, so that’s to make sure that if commercial uses were developed on the property it wouldn’t impact the downtown Rockwood.”

However, since the developer is proposing only residential use the holding provision doesn’t apply.

“Under the Wellington County official plan this area is designated as residential and an urban centre,” Lang explained. “The residential designation allows for detached, semi-detached, duplex, townhouses and apartment buildings, so this proposal complies with the official plan.”

The OMB also laid out, in the original bylaw, the zoning and regulations required and Lang said that in most cases the application conforms to zoning and even exceeds some of the required regulations.

One of the original concerns surrounding the development was the OMB regulation that there be 42 parking spaces available for the townhouses. Originally, Lang said, Seaton Granite Homes proposed 55 spaces unevenly distributed throughout the development. After working with the township planning department, there is now a proposed 57 spaces that are equally distributed between the units, Lang said.

Bernie Hermsen, a township consultant from MHBC Planning Ltd. made it clear that there would be more parking than at Isaac Lane.  

“When we were working with the developer at the beginning, there were adjustments to the building envelopes of the homes so that they’d be set back far enough from the lane way so that you could fit a full car in front of the garages on both sides of the street, so that’s something that Isaac Lane doesn’t have but this development will,” he said.

Despite a few outstanding issues, Lang said everything that will affect council’s decision on site plan approval has been presented.

“Because the holding provision and the proposed site plan conform with the zoning bylaw and the official plan we’re asking that the holding provision be removed and that the council approve the site plan and site plan agreement in substantive form,” she said.

Although not officially a  public meeting, gallery members were given the opportunity to speak, ask questions and voice their comments.

“Two years ago we started this process,” Grant  said. “We went through a brief consultation exercise and in the last year we’ve had a number of meetings and I think what we’ve arrived at tonight was the site plan that will function that will protect the rights of the neighbours and will also provide safe, adequate access for the residents.”

Councillor Corey Woods was impressed with the way Grant worked with the township.

“I don’t agree with the parking that the OMB set out … and I don’t agree with the parking that’s currently in our zoning bylaw,” he said. “But for this we’re stuck with what the OMB laid out but I have to applaud Jeremy because when you first came here we all said you need more parking and he was willing to work with us … even though legally he didn’t have to because it was already set out.”

Resident Lucy Crouse recently moved to the municipality and she said she was

unaware of this development proposal and is concerned about the impact it may have on snow removal.

“The agreement we have with the developer will have snow removal included in it,” Lang said. “And they have said they’ll be trucking it off site.”

Dawn Addison, who lives in a subdivision south of the proposed Jolliffe Ave. development, was concerned about the number of houses in the space.

“We all have kids in our subdivision, little kids and all those cars coming around our kids is a big concern for all of us,” she said.

Mayor Chris White made it clear that the township tried to fight the proposal 20 years ago.

“When this thing came forward, the township took this subdivision to the OMB,” he said. “They tried to fight it.”

However, he explained that when the OMB makes a decision it’s final.

Township engineering consultant Jackie Kay addressed whether the sewer system had the capacity for the additional units.

“We’ve definitely had an overall look and confirmed that the capacity is available in the existing system to accommodate this,” she said.