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Woolwich clears way for small subdivision in Bloomingdale

Bloomingdale can expect to see a small residential development take form, as Woolwich council this week approved the required subdivider’s agreement .

Sawmill Development Corp. and Stevanus Developments Inc. plan to develop six residential lots and a commercial/industrial property on a 13.3-acre site on the south side of Snyder’s Flats Road, across from the community centre. The new subdivision calls for the residential lots to range in size from 1.63 to 1.85 acres, and a commercial property on some three acres.

The new lots, which would be serviced by private wells and septic systems, also require drainage and stormwater management plans.

The project is tied into longstanding Woolwich plans to pave at least a portion of Snyder’s Flats Road and to rework the parking lot at the community centre to deal with drainage and pavement. Engineering staff has suggested doing that as part of a $1.5-million upgrade to a 400-metre stretch of the roadway in conjunction with the Region of Waterloo’s plan to reconstruct Sawmill Road in the village.

Some of that money represents shared costs with the developer, an arrangement that gave pause to Coun. Patrick Merlihan, who noted developers are typically responsible for all costs related to new subdivisions.

“Is that a good investment for six properties?” he asked of the installation of infrastructure in conjunction with a few new homes that are likely to be expensive mansions given the lot sizes.

He said a cost-benefit analysis might help township decide if the investment is worthwhile.

Manager of planning Jeremy Vink noted while such cost-sharing arrangements aren’t the norm with new subdivisions, the Bloomingdale development is slated for just one side of the road. The township’s costs extend to plans for storm sewers and asphalt paving at the park across the street, for instance.

Woolwich’s portion of the costs are to come from development charges extracted to pay for costs associated with growth, noted director of infrastructure services Jared Puppe.

Merlihan remained wary, however, and was joined by fellow Ward 1 Coun. Scott McMillan in opposing the plan, which ended up being approved by a 3-2 margin.

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