POWASSAN – Council was mum Tuesday night on the controversial former Church of God Main Street development that was on their agenda.
Since reaching a settlement with the Municipality in July as part of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing, local developer Arnold Keown has been waiting for approval of his site plan for the property at the corner of Valley View Drive, which is a requirement of the settlement.
The proposed plan was submitted to council by Keown’s planner prior to the July 12 OMB hearing. Council had 30 days to approve or deny the plan, but did not meet this target.
In a letter to council dated Aug. 30, municipal planner Chris Jones attempted to move the process forward.
However, council just passed a motion that they receive Jones report and did not make comment on it.
The letter was brought forward under the unfinished business portion of the agenda.
Keown and his planner Candice Micucci attended the meeting.
Jones’ letter outlined requirements he believed need to be addressed by council including; storm water management, parking, and landscaping. In his notes, Jones indicates 10 of the 13 requirements have been resolved in his opinion.
Jones also stated he was looking for council to comment on the configuration of parking, the driveway surface material, curbing, and garbage and recycling storage.
Jones indicates Keown’s site plan was received July 6 of this year with a revised version submitted on Aug. 2.
“Council should be aware that in accordance with … the Planning Act, an applicant for site plan approval may appeal a non-decision of an application for site plan to the OMB within 30 days of submission,” stated Jones.
Jones also informs council the Board prefers appeals related to site plans only be made after the parties have each made a “concerted effort to discuss and reconcile technical issues” related to the plan.
In the letter, Jones provided council with a status update on the application, including a table of each of the criterion for the application giving boxes for council to record its decision.
The document also included a draft resolution created by Jones, which was also ignored by council.
Council voted to acknowledge receipt of the document only.
The Sept. 4 agenda included a discussion of the Keown application in closed session later that night.
Keown is questioning the legalities of discussing his site plan application in closed session, rather than in open discussion during public council meetings.
Jones, who has been the planner involved in the Keown property for the past year, is no longer working with Meridian Planning, the company responsible for Powassan’s municipal planning, following a recent company merger.