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Council approves rezoning for a pair of Linwood properties

The owner of neighbouring properties in Linwood this week won approval to essentially square off the lots, clearing the way for the site of a former church to become home to a single-family dwelling.

Part  of an L-shaped lot at 1012 Wilker Way will be severed to create a larger, more uniform property at 1016 Wilker Way, the site of what was once a church building.

The rezoning and severance applications were approved by Wellesley councillors meeting Tuesday night.

The decision follows a public meeting held last November and approvals from the township’s committee of adjustment, which OK’d the plan under the proviso the lands “rezoned to recognize the legal noncomplying aspects of the property and to permit the proposed residential use.”

The owner of the properties also carried out a new survey to ensure there were no encroachments on neighbouring land.

In approving the plan, the township also provided an exemption to permit development despite lot sizes that don’t conform to current standards for setbacks, especially in relation to the use of a septic system.

Geoff VanderBaaren, Wellesley’s director of planning, said applicants seeking lot line changes for older properties typically require engineering studies to show that the septic system will be workable on the smaller lots.

Regulations require a minimum lot size of 1,060 square metres, but the property in question comes in at 800.

“We’re dealing with properties that have existed for probably 100 years or so. And in those cases where somebody is changing lot lines, we had them do some engineering work on the site to show that the size of the properties was sufficient to service it with a septic system. When we have those undersized lots, that’s the main consideration in a location like Linwood that doesn’t have municipal sanitary services. You look if the lot size and the soil type is suitable to have a septic system on it. The engineering assessment did show that they could get a septic system on those properties,” said VanderBaaren.

Once rezoning takes place and property lines get changed, VanderBaaren says he believes that the old church will eventually be sold and turned into a single-family home.

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