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Contentious Bradford development back before council

After being denied back in 2019, but winning an appeal from the OLT, developer asking for two-year extension to complete application to build 20 townhouses north of Line 8

After a blast from the past, Mayor James Leduc is hoping both council and a certain developer have learned from history.

Council approved a two-year extension for the draft approval for 20 townhouses at 2676 Line 8 during the regular meeting of council on Nov. 7.

The property is located northeast of Line 8 and Noble Drive, and is planned to have a road access from Gardiner Drive instead of Line 8.

This is the third time the plan has come before council, after Caprinox Developments modified it from 22 townhouses to 20 before it was then refused by council on Feb. 5, 2019, based on concerns from neighbouring residents regarding compatibility of townhouses with single-detached homes, parking and traffic, drainage, density, loss of property value, tree preservation and privacy.

The applicant, now referred to as 8956227 Canada Inc., appealed the decision on March 5, 2019, and on Nov. 20, 2020, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) — formerly known as the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) — approved the application, which was also seeking an amendment to the official plan (OP) and zoning bylaw.

After three years, those approvals were set to expire without an extension, and some councillors were none too pleased to see the request.

“I am completely against the extension,” Ward 5 Coun. Peter Ferragine said, recalling the room was “packed” with neighbours opposed to the development back in 2019. “They were all completely against it.”

Alan Wiebe, manager of community planning, confirmed that despite changes to the town’s OP and the provincial policy statement, staff are still satisfied the proposed development meets the necessary requirements, as they were in 2019, and support the extension.

Ward 6 Coun. Nickolas Harper wanted to know if the development would conform with the upcoming traffic mitigation plan, and Vladimir Rudenko, a planning consultant appearing on behalf of the applicant, confirmed they would be willing to add the necessary mitigation measures.

Wiebe also emphasized the agreement would require the applicant to meet the needs of the town’s engineering team and traffic studies, so if the town requires speed bumps, the applicant would need to add them.

Ferragine took issue with the lack of on-street parking for the number of units being added, especially as the increased cost of housing has led to a greater number of multi-car families living in townhouses.

Ward 7 Coun. Peter Dykie agreed, also recalling the anger residents showed toward the proposal in 2019.

Leduc suggested that if council denied the extension, the applicant could appeal to the OLT, which would likely uphold its own ruling.

“We’re beating around the bush here. Trust me: we have zero control if we say no to this,” he said.

The mayor admitted council would have limited control even if they approved the extension, but acknowledged the consultant taking notes and hoped the applicant would work with the town to help build less-expensive housing options while addressing residents’ concerns.

“Infill is what we need. Townhomes is what we need, because not everyone can afford a 2,500-square-foot home ... that’s what’s killing us,” he said.

Council voted in favour of the extension six to three, with Ferragine, Dykie and Verkaik voting against.

Even with the extension, the development will still need the final approval from council for subdivision agreement after the applicant has completed detailed designs.

— With files from Jenni Dunning

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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