The Township of North Huron has reached an agreement with Southside Construction Management Ltd. for the purchase of approximately 20 acres in Hutton Heights, where a new subdivision will be built.

The township purchased approximately 37 acres of property located south of Lloyd Street and west of the existing Hutton Heights development in 2007 for $155,000.

In February 2022, council declared the land surplus to its needs and authorized staff to proceed with the disposal following the township’s Sale and Disposition of Land Policy using the direct advertising method.

Council accepted the offer at the March 6 regular council meeting, agreeing to sell the land to the developer for $650,000. Additionally, to offset future development charges, $500,000 must be deposited to the vendor (the township) upon closing.

Economic Development Officer Demetri Makrakos provided the report to council outlining the details of the sale, which included what had been completed so far and what still needs to happen before the sale is finalized.

“As council is aware, a number of studies, reports and surveys have been commissioned to prepare the lands for residential development,” Makrakos said. “These include, but are not limited to, an archaeological assessment, a natural environment study, a land survey, an environmental condition assessment, geological report, traffic study and a planning brief. All costs the township incurred for completion of the studies have been included in the purchase price of the property.”

Additionally, “the purchasers also agree to have made a certain level of development progress within a specified timeline, as outlined in Schedule A.2 of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.”

Makrakos stated if those conditions are not met, the township reserves the right to buy the property back.

Makrakos said the new housing development would have a positive financial impact on the community as a whole, providing additional economic benefits to local businesses year-round.

“The infrastructure costs required to bring housing to Hutton Heights will be greatly offset by the purchase price, front-ended development charges, full development charge fees to be collected for this property plus proposed development on adjacent sites in Hutton Heights,” said Makrakos. “Additional tax revenue and spending of new residents’ wages will greatly contribute to future township operational and capital needs.”

The proceeds from the sale will have a “direct financial impact by offsetting costs of infrastructure expansion in Hutton Heights.”

The funds will be placed in the Sale of Property Reserves account for the short term, and staff will present a report to council at a future meeting to seek direction for the future use of the funds.

The Agreement of Sale said that the plan of survey and severance is still being completed and will need to be submitted to the land registry office—the exact dimensions of the property are to be confirmed by survey.

Reeve Paul Heffer made the only comment, saying, “I’m sure happy to see this and looking forward to getting some of the much-needed housing in our township.”

Council voted unanimously to accept the offer.

The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is available in the March 6 council agenda package, available at northhuron.ca.

By Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 10, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Advance Times   Wingham, Ontario
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