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TBM council wants 30% attainable housing in development

Town council witholding support for Eden Oak Camperdown subdivision until developer addresses attainable housing condition
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The Blue Mountains council withheld its support for approval of the Eden Oak Camperdown development draft plan of subdivision until the developer addresses two conditions related to attainable/affordable housing and hazard lands on the property.

Council voted 6-0 in favour of adding the conditions to the draft approval of the subdivision plan at its committee of the whole meeting on May 31.

The Eden Oak Camperdown development has been in the works for many years. The application was deemed complete by the town in 2018 and a public meeting was held in 2019. The development proposes 33 single, detached units.

However, members of council would not grant approval of the draft plan without seeing movement on attainable/affordable housing. Project planner Vanessa Simpson attended the meeting virtually and was asked by Mayor Alar Soever about the price points of the units to be sold. Simpson said she would get the information to the town, but didn’t have it offhand.

Soever cited the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement and the Grey County Official Plan, which all set goals for affordable and attainable housing.

“We must have regard to our responsibility to ensure there is some affordable housing in the town and we should add that condition,” said Soever.

Town staff confirmed that the town has the ability to include a condition on affordable housing for approval of the draft plan.

“Council has the ability to require conditions. We need to have discussions with developers to say: this is the expectation,” said CAO Shawn Everitt.

Another issue that caused concern for council was the town’s risk in assuming hazard lands contained on the property after the development is finished. The lands of Eden Oak sit at the bottom of the slope of the escarpment. Council received comments from the public that indicated concerns about the slope and potential erosion issues.

Town staff explained it is quite common for the municipality to take ownership of hazard lands adjacent to development after it is completed. Staff also noted that the town’s Official Plan has a strategic direction to obtain slope lands through the planning process to ensure they remain preserved for passive recreation uses.

After a discussion, council voted unanimously (with coun. Jim Uram absent) to ask the developer to provide 30 per cent of the lots for affordable units as defined in the Grey County Official Plan and to conduct an assessment of the hazard lands to be assumed by the town.

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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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