Council has received a proposal regarding a land swap that would see the Sunderland Memorial Arena, surrounding park and fairgrounds relocated and expanded.
The proposal, which will come up for discussion at a meeting Monday (Nov. 22), was submitted by Miller Planning Services on behalf of the MacInnis family – the owners of approximately 48 hectares on the south side of River Street, west of the current urban boundary for the village.
While efforts are underway to have the land incorporated into the urban boundary, as part of the Region’s Official Plan review, the family has also suggested exchanging roughly 30 acres of their property for the 17-acre municipal property.
“An opportunity exists to provide for updated and expanded programming on a larger parcel of land to serve the growing community. There is also an opportunity to move the existing lighted sports facilities away from the existing residences on the edge of the fairgrounds and eliminate any negative impacts that currently exist,” reads a submission to township council.
“There is also an opportunity to allow for additional residential growth on these current Sunderland parklands in order to strengthen the settlement area for the future.”
A preliminary concept drawing submitted with the proposal includes three large light baseball diamonds, a soccer field, four tennis courts, parking areas and a separate six-acre parcel for a recreational facility.
“There would be ample opportunity to service the recreational needs of both existing and future residents of Sunderland and other portions of the Township’s population on a relocated park facility,” the letter reads.
“A new expanded recreational centre and playing fields would allow the Township to update their program offerings to a variety of age groups and interests. Newer buildings could offer more accessible facilities which could provide activities for a wider more diverse populations with different abilities and needs. Newer facilities could also offer more multi-purpose spaces which could support year-round programming for the township as a whole.”
The current municipal property would be developed for housing, according to the proposal.
“If the parkland and recreational facilities were to be relocated to the MacInnis Lands the proposal for the existing lands would be to ensure that they are developed with compatible lot sizes and building forms,” the letter reads.
“There would also need to be recognition for existing significant trees and the potential to maintain some smaller park feature on site should that be required.”
The proposal (available below) is set to be discussed Monday evening at 5 p.m.