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Township happy with Lunor deal

A massive new subdivision in the northwest part of Elmira will go ahead as planned, complete with an extension of Barnswallow Drive and land for a potential new fire hall.

Following a report from senior planner John Scarfone, Woolwich councillors were satisfied the township reached a good deal with Lunor Group despite a presentation last week from another developer that has appealed the project to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Councillors were not swayed by Hawk Ridge Homes’ claims more parkland should be provided in the subdivision. Typically, a developer provides five per cent of the property to the municipality for parkland. Sometimes that’s taken as cash in lieu of land. In this case, the township will only get 2.8 per cent formally, but when a new trail system and open space are included, that number shoots up to 12 per cent, climbing higher still when naturalized stormwater management ponds are factored in, Scarfone explained.

Several years in the making, the deal sees the developer go above and beyond requirements, he added.

The decision came after a presentation from Lunor’s planner, Tom Hardacre of the IBI Group, refuting the statements made Mar. 22 by Hawk Ridge Homes spokesperson Arlene MacFarlane.

Along with the parkland numbers discussed by Scarfone, he pointed out the bulk of the plan had already been approved by the previous council, with only the road extension and fire hall land currently under discussion. Noting the changes were for the township’s benefit, he added passing on the additions would make no difference to Lunor – “my client is fine with that.”

Ultimately approved Tuesday night were the extension of Barnswallow Drive into the subdivision, and plans for the developer to provide a lot on Church Street suitable for a possible new fire hall. The township agreed to pay 55 per cent of the cost of the road extension, estimated at $775,000

The township would receive a 1.5-acre, fully serviced lot worth an estimated $456,000 to $775,000.

The changes would become part of the plan to build up to 1,700 residential units on 180 acres of land on Church Street West. The project is currently on hold pending the outcome of the OMB proceedings. Lunor has requested a quick prehearing to have the appeal dismissed, calling it frivolous.

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