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Wellesley subdivision to proceed; council backs revised plan

After rejecting a developer’s bid to build 48 homes in Wellesley Village near Ferris Drive, Schweitzer Crescent, and Greenwood Hill Road in October, Wellesley council accepted a revised proposal Monday night.

Council voted 4-1 in favour of supporting the changes and directed township staff to prepare the necessary documents for a settlement of an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board launched by the developer following the original rejection of the plan.

If council had chosen to defend their original decision it would have cost them an estimated $40,000 for a three-day hearing. The costs would have been non-recoverable.

Coun. Shelley Wagner was opposed to council’s decision.

“When we didn’t approve this the first time, we didn’t approve it because we wanted to see another option for this land or to have the current plan changed,” Wagner said. “ All I have to say is I don’t think they’ve come back with a good enough plan.”

Township planner Geoff Vanderbaaren said council could only discuss the motion in open council, not the details of the development proposal.

The original proposal was to build 48 houses, including three single-family homes, 32 semis, and 13 townhomes. A group of concerned residents were at the October meeting arguing for this development not to go through due to that neighborhood already being densely populated. Resident Andrew Brenner noted at that meeting that two of his three children at Wellesley Public School are taught out of portables due to overpopulation.

Former mayor Ross Kelterborn had proposed a nursing home be built on the 2.5 hectares of land, but the township is unable to decide that as they don’t own the property.

The proposal was originally brought to council in June but was deferred after some 50 Wellesley residents came out to show their disapproval at council. Aside from overpopulation, there were safety, noise, and traffic concerns they wanted to see addressed.

The land is zoned as institutional right now, which means it can only be used for a cemetery, church, daycare centre, library, school, public or private clinic, nursing home or rest home, public utility facilities, and services, or a community centre. It would be rezoned to urban-residential.

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