Council green-lights retirement home construction

By Chad Ingram

Published Oct. 15 2019

A holding provision on zoning at 1 Sunnyside Street in Haliburton has finally been lifted meaning that construction on a retirement residence on the property can proceed.

As previously reported a series of complicated technical requirements has caused some delay in the project for which council heard the initial pitch a year ago. Central to those complications was a holding provision on the property that was issued by the Ontario Municipal Board years ago in the wake of a former condo proposal for the site.

During a special meeting on Sept. 9 councillors for Dysart et al approved the site plan for the project and requested that the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal which replaced the OMB in 2018 issue an order that the holding provision be lifted. That issue was ordered early this month and during a special meeting on Oct. 9 council voted to lift the hold.

“We have said all along we would try to expedite this process” said Mayor Andrea Roberts.

The only condition that remains outstanding is the approval of a water system for the facility. Council has made that condition a criteria for occupancy of the building. Construction is expected to take 16 months with 70 units of a planned 120 units being constructed during the project’s first phase.

Studies the developer – Bill Mardimae of Gardens Retirement Development Inc. – had completed pertaining to a well on the property have indicated there is enough water supply in the area that neighbouring wells should not be affected and that the water will require some treatment for hardness.

The Ministry of Environment has indicated that an environmental assessment may be required although the developer his agent and the municipality’s legal counsel disagree. Whether or not that must be completed will be an issue between the developer and the province as will a requirement for a retaining wall that has been requested the Ministry of Transportation.