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House built in 'wrong spot' due to Grey Highlands zoning error

A home was built in 2008 in an area that was supposed to remain undeveloped because of potential sinkhole conditions
Butternet Court in the Municipality of Grey Highlands.

The Municipality of Grey Highlands is fixing a zoning error that resulted in a home being built in the wrong location on its lot.

The home is located on Butternut Court in the former Euphrasia township. Fifteen years ago, Grey County approved a 12-home subdivision for the area.

At the time, a portion of the lot in question was a no-development zone due to suspected karst topography on the property.

Karst topography is a term used for dissolving bedrock that can make the area prone to sinkholes. 

In 2008, a building permit was issued for the property in the no-development zone. According to a later discovery by planning staff the suspect karst that was listed on municipal zoning maps had not been included in the Grey County GIS mapping of the property, which was used to issue the building permit.

Planner Ron Davidson was recruited by the planning department to handle the file on behalf of the municipality to avoid any perceived bias on the matter.

“When we look at the paper (zoning) bylaw, the house and the septic system were put in the wrong spot,” said Davidson. “Now we’re trying to correct that error.”

Davidson said as part of the planning application process, an engineering firm took a look at the property to investigate whether or not karst is present on the site.

“They found no evidence of active karst features,” said Davidson. “That’s a good thing. On that note, we can say: no harm done.”

On Sept. 25, Grey Highlands council held a public meeting to consider a rezoning on the property to change the no-development area to residential.

There were no public objections to the application and it will be forwarded to a future council meeting for consideration.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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