POWASSAN – Months of council deliberation over a multi-residential housing complex has cost the Municipality of Powassan $11,597 and counting.
According to municipal staff, the municipality has spent $9,596.24 and $2,000 on Keown’s application from August 2011 until June 30, 2012. But more fees have yet to be invoiced.
Developer Arnold Keown filed a rezoning application in June of last year to have the former Church of God property rezoned to permit a multi-unit rental complex.
Following more than 100 days of discussion and consultation with the Municipal planner and legal counsel, the rezoning was denied.
Keown then filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board. He and the Municipality came to a settlement, which allows the development with the requirement the building must receive site plan approval by council. The settlement was made public during the OMB hearing held in July of this year.
Neither the Municipality nor Keown knows their final fees in relation to the hearing.
Keown said he has spent upwards of $14,000, with about $7,000 going to each planning and legal fees on a project that he says should have been straightforward.
“When I got my quote from the planner it was to be $1,000,” said Keown. “I wouldn’t have needed a lawyer if this hadn’t gone to the OMB.”
In interviews last week, some members of council acknowledged the process wasn’t as expedient as it should have been, with Mayor Peter McIsaac saying, “we’re basically back to square one.”