WINCHESTER – The North Dundas Council has begun the process of resolving existing water allocation permissions when an application expires.

Traditionally when someone has a water allocation that expires, and they have not been able for whatever reason to begin the building process that goes along with their water allocation, they can ask the council to extend their allocation.

In the past, there was not much of an issue granting someone an extension.

However, with the municipality running out of water capacity and several years away from bringing more water to North Dundas, the council’s position has changed.

They have decided to give expired allocations to builders who are ready to use them instead of encouraging builders who plan to build several years down the road to hang on to and not use their allocation.

At the Jan. 18 council meeting, councillors agreed to extend water allocations of four requests for a six month period.

Winchester Meadows Development Application for 28 units for two- fourteen-unit buildings to be constructed April 2023 at 454 Lancaster Lane; 2820939 Ontario Limited for a semi-detached home to be constructed in April 2023 at 72 Erin Avenue in Chesterville; 2820939 Ontario Limited for a semi-detached home to be constructed in August 2023 at 138 Elizabeth Drive in Chesterville; Wellings of Winchester Inc. for 80 senior units to be constructed in 2023 at 12046 County Road 3 in Winchester.

Mayor Tony Fraser said, “That was the recommendation from staff to do it this way. We know we will have water coming in two to three years and if someone is going to build in 2025, why would we hold up someone who wants to build in 2023.”

Councillors did not have to debate the merit of each application.

“The ones that we did not approve are the ones that are not ready to build right away,” he said.

There will be applications that expire and go back into the pool of available water allocations, and those applications could be picked up by someone ready to start their building project now.

There are a 113 water allocations expiring between January and March of this year.

Twenty units are being relinquished and will become available at the Feb. 7 meeting for council who will consider distributing, and seven units are those that applied for extension but were not extended and will expire before the end of March 2023.

North Dundas’ interim director of environmental services Danielle Ward said, “These allocations, if no building permit is submitted, will also be relinquished and become available for council to distribute in subsequent council meetings in 2023.”

There are 14.8 units that did not apply for an extension to their expiry date.

“The same process will continue for all water allocations expiring in 2023,” said Ward.

Municipal staff will continue contacting those with allocations expiring according to a quarterly review for example, April-June 2023 extension requests discussed at the March 7 council meeting, July-Sept. 2023 extension requests discussed at June 13 council meeting, and Oct.-December 2023 extension requests discussed at the Sept. 5 council meeting.

The other applications, which were not extended, will expire two years from the date of the approval of their original application, once these dates pass the allocation associated with the property, if no building permit is filed, will be relinquished, and the council will determine how they would like them distributed to new applications.

Ward added, “The applicants whose water allocation extension was not approved, can still in the future reapply for a water allocation when they are prepared to build.”

Fraser said, the municipality does not want to have water allocations sitting idle and not being used. Someone could be holding on to their water allocation, but is not ready to use it, and their neighbour for example is ready to build but they have to wait for an allocation.

The municipality’s current strategy is to try and keep development and growth moving in a fair way for everyone.