GRAVENHURST – A subdivision development first proposed in the early 1990s got site plan approval for its final two stages from Gravenhurst council, even if some had hoped there would be greater public input.
The Kingbrook subdivision at the end of Thain Street West still needs approval from the District of Muskoka before anything is finalized, but the town has provided its backing as the past 20 years have provided some compromises to the original plans and less density than previous plan submissions.
Scott Lucas, manager of development services, explained the site plan approval relates to the final two stages of the development and includes about 3.3 hectares of land. The plan is to divide that land into a total of 67 lots, built on three blocks. Including the first phase portion that is already built, that will bring the total number of allowed lots to 99, which is exactly what was first proposed back in the early 1990s. It is also less than an alternate draft that council had for consideration in the past, which would have seen 74 lots built on the three blocks for a total of just more than 100.
The only issue council members had with the application is that there haven’t been the traditional public hearings on the matter. As the original application was brought to council in the early 1990s, it falls under the old planning act from 1983. Under those regulations, as Lucas explained, there were no requirements for public hearings.
“When the application is submitted determines what happens and what (act) we follow,” Lucas explained, but the previous submission for 74 lots was trimmed back to the 67 as a compromise on density due to public and council concerns. “The overall density of the development isn’t changing now from what was originally proposed (in 1992).”
Councillor Lola Bratty expressed concern that as the application has some history to it, neighbours in the region may not be fully aware of the scope of the development being proposed.
“It still worries me that there’s no public consultation,” she said. “I am concerned that people don’t know and have had no opportunity to comment on this.”
Mayor Paisley Donaldson said she felt appeased the application has been reduced to the original 67 lots for the final two stages and hoped to put a 20-year issue to rest.
“Sometimes it takes 20 years for a developer to get things going and I certainly appreciate the applicant still wanting to build a subdivision here in Gravenhurst,” she said. For final approval, the developer will have to register title and a site plan agreement with the town, supply a storm water management plan and arrange for any required easements.