Canada Protection Plan
Appeal filed against council’s decision to allow more homes in Sunderland subdivision

Sunderland residents have once again banded together to appeal a council decision regarding a controversial development in the village.

Township staff have received notice of the appeal from the law firm of Davies Howe on behalf of the Jay Yerema-Weafer (a candidate for regional councillor) and the ‘Concerned Citizens of Sunderland’ regarding a zoning amendment granted to the Katilin Corporation last month. The matter will be heard by LPAT (formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board or OMB).

Though no timeline for the appeal has been set, there’s little chance it will be heard prior to the Oct. 22 municipal election.

The law firm had previously sent a letter to council last November formally requesting that the Township deny the company’s request to build 268 homes in the second phase of construction, an increase from the 207 initially approved.

Despite that request, members of council approved the zoning amendment with the passage of a bylaw in August. Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell was the lone voice in opposition.

Concerns raised in the appeal relate to density, compatibility, traffic, adequacy of water and wastewater infrastructure and protection of the environment.

The appeal notes that the village is currently without a back-up well and that residents have been asked to conserve water for several months.

“Water and wastewater servicing in Sunderland is a Regional responsibility. Given that the Region has not yet identified alternative means to provide sufficient servicing capacity for Phase 2 of the Draft Plan as originally approved, it is certainly not appropriate to direct additional growth and density to the subject lands,” it reads.

It also argues that “adequate community services” do not currently exist in the Township to service the additional population permitted through the bylaw.

It also takes issue with municipal politicians refusing to ask the developer for a financial contribution to help account for the increased density under Section 37 of the Planning Act.

“The Township’s failure to exercise its authority to require a Section 37 contribution results in a zoning bylaw which does not conform with the objectives of the Township Official Plan respecting complete communities and the provision of adequate public services. Requiring the applicant to contribute public benefits in exchange for the additional density permitted through the zoning bylaw would have allowed for the Township to improve its limited community services and recreational opportunities. This would have helped accommodate the additional population, as is directed by the Provincial policies referred to above, as well as the Township Official Plan policies,” it reads.

The appeal was on the agenda for yesterday’s meeting of township council. Check back for more information as it becomes available.

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