Postponement for more input on Wallings Road development

Dear Editor, 

Currently there are two projects planned for Wallings Road, a possible 48 units at Places for People (P4P) and 60 to 80 condo units on the former MNR property, for a total of 108 to 128 new units. Haliburton County has said that these projects should not be allowed to proceed unless the traffic generated, including the current condominium and most of the homes on Wallings is routed through the Halbiem subdivision. The County is requesting a new traffic impact study on Wallings Road and the County Road 21 intersection, to determine the best way to service these new proposals. This may allow the developments to proceed with access via Wallings Road, with improvements made to that intersection or recommend that traffic be rerouted through Halbiem Crescent. 
We are not opposed to the development of P4P or the MNR property although we do question the density of these projects. We are aware that housing supply is very low, especially for low to middle income families and that housing initiatives should be supported. However, if the plan is to bring all of this added traffic through our residential subdivision, should there not be a plan in place to accommodate this? Our roads are narrow with blind corners, no sidewalks or proper street lighting. All pedestrians, including children, are forced to use the paved roadway and with vehicles speeding this is entirely unsafe and will be exacerbated. The intersection of Halbiem and County Road 21 is already difficult to manoeuvre, especially in the summer. The issues mentioned will be more hazardous with the addition of another 250-plus vehicles coming and going throughout the day. There is also the matter of effects on the water table and wells on the homes abutting these projects.

Our Haliburton by the Lake Association presented our concerns to Dysart Council, were accused of “Not in My Backyard” syndrome and were told that we could voice our concerns when a rezoning application is presented at a public meeting. This is much too late in the process in our opinion. Dysart et al Council has made no attempt at meaningful engagement with Halbiem residents. They want to blame the County for this predicament and move ahead with granting P4P access through Halbiem in order that the first phase of their project may proceed. Why not postpone development decisions until we know the results of the traffic impact study and work with those affected, including us, to determine an appropriate way forward?

Derrell and Kim Stamp
Halbiem Crescent