Updated: Sept. 9 2016
Developers continued to encounter resistance at a second public meeting Sept. 6 for a condominiumdevelopment proposed for Wallings Road in Haliburton.
The application to amend a zoning bylawfor the lands of Vuksic from its current zoning of R1 urbanresidential type 1 zone to R3 urban residential type 3 withexception was met with hesitation from those wholive down the road from the proposed site. If amended the R3 zoning would permitthe construction of a three-storey medium density dwelling with 21units.
An initial meeting on Aug. 2 raisedconcerns such as decreasing area property values lack of privacytraffic issues and more.
Chairman of the meeting and Dysart etal Reeve Murray Fearrey said the planning committee had received allthe comments from the first public meeting and asked members of thepublic not to rehash the same comments raising new issues only.
Municipal planner Patricia Martin saidthe planning committee inspected the site on Aug. 15 with Dysart'sformer public works director.
On Aug. 30 developer Pat Dubéof Greystone Construction submitted a revised site plan for WallingsWay the name of the project based on comments he heard at the Aug.2 meeting.
“It certainly is a very controversialproject in Haliburton and I'm sorry about that” said Dubé.“But I did take your comments to heart and I went back to mydrafting board.”
The new plan which was created toaddress the impact on the Hawley property next door includesflipping the building reversing the location of the front door andmoving it closer to the MNRF property which sits on the other sideof the site.
As a result the building is now 25 feetfrom the MNRF property line and almost 50 feet from the Hawleys'property said Dubé.
The change also reduced the number ofbalconies on the Hawleys' side by three which are 43 feet away fromthe neighbour's property according to Martin's report.
While a vegetation buffer waspreviously proposed the developer requested a privacy fence beallowed. It was later suggested the fence be six feet in height themaximum allowed by the municipal bylaw.
In regards to traffic issues thedeveloper is proposing entry and exit from the current driveway andsignage indicating no right hand turns out of the property ontoWallings Road which is a loop road.
Additional signage will indicate theroad beyond Wallings Way is open to local traffic only.
Dubésaid they have agreed to widen the road in front of the building toallow for proper two-way traffic.
The developer said the condo willresult in less traffic than the now-empty MNRF facility.
Neighbour Sean Hawley asked where theprivacy fence would go to which Dubésaid as far down the property line as Hawley wanted.
Mike Rae asked if the project wouldrequire three-phase hydro to which Dubésaid not necessarily and the condo currently being built in Mindenwill have an elevator but only requires one-phase hydro.
A few members of the public tried toexpress their support for the project pointing to other area condobuildings such as Granite View however Fearrey requested only theproposed project and its planning issues be discussed.
Neighbour Jim Perog asked about thefuture of the MNRF property and the possibility of a condo buildinggoing there.
Fearrey said that property is not apart of this particular planning file.
Perog brought up the raw sewage plantnear the high school on County Road 21 which he said emits odours.
In an interview with the Echo followingthe meeting Fearrey said that he used to live on Wallings Road anddisputed Perog's claim that he could smell odours from his home.
The property's owner Mike Vuksic toldthe paper that in his 39 years at that address he never smelledanything from the treatment plant. He plans to stay on Wallings Road – livingin the new condo. “We love living in Haliburton. … We don't wantto move out of town” he said.
In addition Len Salvatori who used tolive two doors down from the property being discussed told the paper henever smelled odours from his home either.
At the meeting Hawley reiterated hisconcern about his property values and said he and his wife “had thebiggest dog in this fight.”
Contacted by the Echo following themeeting Dubé said he took greatpride in the work he does in Haliburton County and was disheartened the harsh comments expressed by some.
“I'mnot the kind of person that doesn't really care about what he does orthe impact he has on a community because of a project. I do care. Itake it very seriously” he said.
Thisis the third project Dubé has taken on in the village includingGranite View and Granite Cove and he said the work he has done so fardemonstrates the quality and care Greystone takes.
“We'rea known entity in Haliburton and that should bring some credibilityto the whole argument of who we are and how we want to do businessthere” he said.
Tothe concerns of dropping property values should a condo be built onthe road Dubé disputed this notion.
“Ijust don't buy the fact that property values decrease because there'sa condominium in the neighbourhood” he said. The condos would bepriced higher than many of the other properties on the street hesaid which “automatically inflates the neighbourhood.”
Inthe past Haliburton has suffered from a population drain to the citywhen retirees decide they want less responsibility for their homesand yard work and Dubé said building these types of dwellings keepspeople in the community.
Hereferred to Granite View the condo built a couple of years ago onMountain Street in town as an example. “What would the alternativebe otherwise? These folks could look to go elsewhere” he said.
“Wallingsis a waterfront project and I feel it appeals to yet another sectorof our seniors who are coming from a waterfront property and can nolonger deal with it. Instead of moving to Bobcaygeon or Peterboroughwhere there's a waterfront opportunity they can stay in Haliburtonand enjoy the rest of their retirement as they deserve.”
The zoning decision is being deferreduntil the Oct. 3 public meeting so that council can receive inputfrom the municipal roads director and from the county prior to makinga decision .