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Builder asks for 2nd extension on 13-home subdivision plan

Millford Development Limited was granted initial approval and bylaw amendment by Bradford council in 2018; proposal also includes commercial block

An infill project in Bradford’s south end may need a little while longer to take shape, but the developer hasn’t provided an explanation for the delay.

During its regular meeting March 5, council deferred a request from Millford Development Limited for a second three-year extension to approval for draft plan of subdivision for a new development at 690 Simcoe Rd. 

The development is proposed to include 13 single-detached homes on a cul-de-sac off Gibson Circle, directly across from Lewis Avenue, as well as a commercial block fronting the west side of Simcoe Road, just north of the entrance to St. Charles Catholic School.

The deferral came in response to questions from multiple councillors who wanted to know why the developer was requesting an extension.

“Why am I giving an extension? For what? I need to know the main reasons and the history behind it,” Ward 1 Coun. Cheraldean Duhaney said.

Alan Wiebe, manager of community planning, explained the developer hadn’t provided a reason for needing the extension and representatives weren’t present for the meeting.

However, in a letter to the town, Angela Orsi, a representative of the developer, said they plan to clear the conditions of the draft plan approval and enter into other necessary agreements sometime in 2024, and have already completed the necessary studies, including environmental studies relating to hydrology and geology.

Based on that letter and prior to the request for deferral, Mayor James Leduc had suggested providing only a one-year extension to March 6, 2025.

“We have a mandate,” he said in reference to the target of 6,500 new homes by 2031. “If there’s no reason for an extension, then it’s just a matter of forcing them to do their job to get the planning done.”

“We should put a fire under them,” Ward 7 Coun. Peter Dykie agreed, but added “I’d give them benefit of the doubt,” and noted the amount of work the developer had put into the development, which has sat vacant for “years and years and years.”

Wiebe emphasized that the approval would expire the day after the meeting on March 6, and council’s refusal to provide an extension could give the developer grounds to appeal at the Ontario Land Tribunal, but also noted there is a five-year window after an approval expires in which council can still provide an extension.

In an interview prior to the meeting, Wiebe explained that in Bradford both residential and commercial developments commonly require extensions, a situation which is becoming more common than not.

Even the need for multiple extensions is “fairly frequent,” as Wiebe explained that depending on the size, complexity and number of developments on which a developer is working, it can take more than three years to complete all the conditions of approval including studies, agreements and approvals from school boards and conservation authorities among others.

For 690 Simcoe Rd., that list of conditions could become even longer though, as part of the proposed extension for approval included new clauses from both the County of Simcoe and the Lake Simcoe Regional Conservation Authority (LSRCA).

While the county’s additions seek to clarify payment of development charges and availability of waste collection, the LSRCA’s additions require more details for management of phosphorus in water runoff and add more requirements for the hydrogeological study, since the site is part of a wellhead protection area which could have impacts on drinking water.

A report from Ray Kelso, senior planner for the town, said staff have no objections to the additions and recommended council approve the extension.

Millford Development originally applied for approval to develop the 1.51-hectare property in July of 2011, but the town didn’t consider the application complete until March 2016, with a public meeting held on June 21, 2016, according to the report.

The development was originally approved by a previous council on March 6, 2018, including rezoning of the property to Residential One (R1-2) with exceptions, and Neighbourhood Commercial (C2) with exceptions.

The original approval was set to expire on March 6, 2021, and in Dec. 2020 council granted a three-year extension to March 6, 2024.

Request for comment from BradfordToday to Millford Development about the cause of the delay and the expected impact of the new conditions were not returned in time for publication.

The matter is expected to be part of the agenda for the next council meeting on Tuesday, March 19, at which time council is hoping the developer will be present to provide an explanation.

Michael Owen

About the Author: Michael Owen

Michael Owen has worked in news since 2009 and most recently joined Village Media in 2023 as a general assignment reporter for BradfordToday
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