The proponents of a proposed housing development in Mono chose to go to the Ontario Land Tribunal before the town’s council could make a decision.

Aragon exercised its right to appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) before the start of a June 27 public meeting on the project.

Aragon Development Corp. had submitted a pair of applications to build on vacant land at Highway 10 to the east, Kingfisher Drive to the west, County Road 16 to the north, and Monora Park Drive to the south.

Their proposal, which was discussed in a public Mono council meeting in May, is to develop a residential condominium community with 220 three-storey townhouse units with garages and paved driveways and 52 visitor parking spaces and landscaped areas.

The proposed development includes shared common areas such as open spaces, linear connections, community mailboxes, a pavilion, a multi-purpose court and playground area, and wastewater treatment area.

The land parcel abutting the north side of Monora Park Drive is to be maintained for future commercial development.

The OLT adjudicates matters related to land use planning, environmental and natural features and heritage protection, land valuation, land compensation, municipal finance, and related matters.

Mayor John Creelman previous said the municipality will intervene at the OLT hearing. The views expressed by Mono’s residents about the proposed development will form part of the town’s case at the tribunal hearing when it happens.

Mono resident Doug Thomson asked council at its July 18 meeting if the interactions with Argon is an indication of how council will approach future development applications.

“Will the town be able to meet deadlines for review of future development proposals or will they end up in a similar fashion as the Aragon proposal whereby council lost its ability to make a decision due to delays in the review process?” Thomson said in his written question to council.

Deputy Mayor Fred Nix said he doesn’t agree with the premise of Thomson’s question.

“There’s no way we can answer that,” he said. “We try to meet our timelines. Sometimes we have things like provincial elections, and new members, and committees to form in the middle of a process.”

David Trotman, the town’s planning director, said there are always extenuating circumstances that can affect a development application.

“We had worked with Aragon to look at options,” Trotman said.

He said the obligatory public meeting ended up being a two-part meeting and the company appealed to the tribunal before the second part commenced.

“It was their prerogative to do so,” he said.

Development applications and the particulars that come with each could be challenging for any municipality, Trotman said.

“I don’t really put too much merit on when and how an applicant can appeal,” he said. “If they have the opportunity to do so, some do and some don’t. Really, it’s up to the applicant if they choose to do that.”

Councillor Melinda Davie said it wasn’t by design that council didn’t make a decision on the application.

“It wasn’t an on-purpose thing that council didn’t make a decision in a timely fashion,” she said. “We were giving the public the opportunity to really have their say and it was Aragon who chose to intercept that by saying the public opinion wasn’t important.”

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By James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 04, 2023 at 08:10

This item reprinted with permission from   Orangeville Citizen   Orangeville, Ontario

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