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Half of building permits still unclaimed for projects exempt from development halt

An interim bylaw puts a stop to new home building permits in Collingwood, but some developers got exemptions from town; about 60 per cent of them still haven't applied for their permits
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Collingwood's municipal offices.

While 41 development projects across Collingwood were granted exemptions in July from the interim control bylaw which was passed in April, only 11 of those projects have actually pulled their building permits as of this week.

According to the most recent data presented to council this week by chief administrative officer Sonya Skinner, 11 of the interim control bylaw exempted projects have had building permits issued as of this week. Five more projects have had building permit applications received by the town.

No applications have been received or permits issued for 25 (or 61 per cent) of the projects.

“It seems as though there were so many people who were so upset about the interim control bylaw, I thought they would be pulling permits the minute they got their exemptions,” said Coun. Mariane McLeod during the meeting.

On April 26, town council passed the interim control bylaw, which put a moratorium on new development for one year while the town addresses water capacity issues. When council passed the moratorium, it was with a caveat that staff come back to council with a list of recommended exemptions for council to consider.

In July, councillors voted on providing exemptions for 41 developments, which were deemed by staff to be near-term developments that fulfilled the criteria and had reasons to proceed immediately.

The town received 65 total applications for exemptions.

Coun. Deb Doherty asked whether control bylaw-exempt projects would be given a deadline to make an application for their building permits.

“If they are not intending to proceed in the short-term, we could at least make way for others,” said Doherty.

Ron Glenn, interim director of planning for the town, said he had been in conversation with the town’s legal counsel on the issue.

“The question around sunsetting is something we can’t really do,” said Glenn. “It’s really up to them to come pull a permit. We don’t have the ability under the Planning Act or the Municipal Act to establish a sunset provision for the exemption bylaw.”