Tim Hortons site plan approved following stormwater discussion

A new Tim Hortons in the village of Erin is now likely one step closer to reality.

Last week town council unanimously approved a conditional site plan for the 267 square metre restaurant at 4 Thompson Crescent, next to the town’s new medical centre.

But not before the proponent and the town’s planner had another disagreement – this time over the requirement for a stormwater management plan.

Jim Kennedy, who represented property owner the Shane Baghai Group of Companies, called the request for a stormwater plan “irrelevant,” given the two ditches on the east side of County Road 124 are designed to carry flows from the industrial subdivision to the Deer Pit drain. He requested the requirement be removed from the site plan.

Councillor Barb Tocher noted county officials are the ones who asked for the stormwater plan so the proponent may be speaking to the wrong council.

Kennedy said the town decides on the conditions included in the stormwater plan, so it is up to town councillors to decide what is included.

Town planner Sally Stull said county officials have stated they are not satisfied with the applicant’s proposal [without a stormwater report].

Mayor Lou Maieron asked if a stormwater management plan was required as part of the medical centre’s site plan process, to which landowner Shane Baghai replied it was not. Stull suggested that was perhaps because the medical centre application was rushed through in order to get the building built and occupied.

Baghai replied if that is the case, perhaps the medical centre should be reviewed, as it may not have been done right if it was so rushed. He  expressed disappointment with what he saw as repeated roadblocks from the town and told council if he has to go to the Ontario Municipal Board regarding the Tim Hortons application he will.

Mayor Lou Maieron noted the county was asked to pay a portion of the $1.55-million Deer Pit project but refused. He said if the county is so concerned now about drainage in the area, perhaps that funding   denial should be revisited.

When it came time to vote, council unanimously approved a resolution to approve the site plan, subject to numerous conditions.

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Also at last week’s meeting, Stull clarified the town’s anti-idling bylaw applies to vehicles idling for more than three minutes, which usually does not happen in drive-thrus like the one proposed for the new Tim Hortons.

Councillor Josie Wintersinger, who expressed concern with how the town would reconcile the Tim Hortons approval with the municipality’s anti-idling bylaw, said she was satisfied.