MORRISBURG – The Municipality of South Dundas may see another new subdivision established along the St. Lawrence River between Morrisburg and Iroquois.
While a decision has not yet been made, more information and an opportunity to comment on the Sumac Pointe Subdivision project was given to both residents and politicians during the township’s Aug. 16 council meeting. The owner of the property, which is located along a section of the river at the west end of Lakeshore Drive and Dr. Stevens Drive, is owned by the South Dundas Waterfront Development Corporation.
A requirement under the province’s Planning Act, the meeting provided all interested parties with an opportunity to speak. United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SDG) director of planning Peter Young outlined the request, as well as the process. Then, the applicant’s representative, Tracy Zander of ZanderPlan Inc., pointed to how the project complies with official regulations, detailing the third-party studies that have been completed so far.
The subdivision application includes three residential lots on private services. These 0.75 to 1.3 acre lots will face the St. Lawrence River without frontage. The waterfront is owned by the Ontario Power Generation (OPG).
“SDG has authority to approve or refuse the proposed Plan of Subdivision,” Young said. “Following the public meeting, the United Counties will review all submissions made by the public and agencies respecting the proposal before making a decision. If approved, conditions are drafted to address development requirements, as well as items raised through public and agency consultation.”
Young provided attendees with a list of items to be reviewed for the subdivision application. These included consistency with provincial policy statement, conformity with the County’s Official Plan, compliance with local zoning by-laws, compatibility with adjacent lands, suitability of land for the proposed use, adequacy of vehicular access and services, protection from potential flooding or unstable slopes, and servicing and septic approval.
In addition to SDG’s Official Plan and Ontario’s Planning Act, Young referenced the Provincial Policy Statement, which “provides clear policy direction on land use planning to promote strong communities, a strong economy, and a clean and healthy environment.” Young, highlighted section three of the Planning Act, 1990 that states that the municipality’s decision must be consistent with the policy statements issued.
“A 20-day appeal period begins following the decision,” Young said. “Members of the public do not have the ability to appeal the decision to approve or refuse a plan of subdivision application. The applicant, certain utilities and public bodies, municipalities, and the minister can appeal a decision.”
During the public meeting, residents were given an opportunity to speak. One couple voiced their support for the project, as they are set to be homeowners in the subdivision. Several current residents expressed concern over the applicant’s past and present actions.
“My concerns are the rules being respected,” resident Helen Johnson said. “How can we be sure that everything they’re supposed to do is done? What type of enforcement is available? And what kind of scrutiny will be applied to this project?”
Young said that if granted, the subdivision agreement is a lengthy contract between the municipality and the applicant. This agreement outlines everything the applicant must do, as well as those things they can’t do.
“I’m speaking on behalf of my mom, who owns the property between Dr. Steven’s Drive and this development. We’ve had it surveyed,” Steve Cruikshank said, speaking for his mother, South Dundas resident Marlene Cruikshank. He said the applicant has been trespassing on his mother’s property to reach their property. “We have not granted consent for this and would like it to stop now.”
Resident Janeen Wagemans expressed concern for the South Dundas Waterfront Development Corporation’s website, which she said, “has given people the impression that this is officially by the Municipality of South Dundas as opposed to an individual, so people may think it has more credibility than it does.” Mayor Steven Byvelds said the issue doesn’t fall under the planning department’s authority but said he does share the concern.
“We at South Dundas are concerned about it,” he said. “South Dundas is definitely not part of this.”
Young said he would be returning to council at the end of September with a report and recommendations. Residents wishing to be kept updated on this project are encouraged to reach out to Young via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.