UXBRIDGE: Work is expected to resume on an Uxbridge development, albeit with some changes to the agreement between the developer and the township following the unauthorized dumping of fill earlier this summer.
On June 24, Toronto-based developer Fabio Furlan made a deputation to council outlining his need for a fill permit at Reach St. and Coral Creek Dr. in order to begin development of Phase 5 of the Estates of Avonlea.
At that time, Mr. Furlan explained that, due to the topography of the land, approximately 10,000 cubic metres of fill would be needed at the site in order to meet grade requirements.
Council then entered into a grading agreement with the developer, with the expectation that all work be completed by Sept. 1, so as not to interfere with increased foot traffic in the area once school resumed.
However, at the council meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor expressed dismay that several provisions in the agreement have not been adhered to.
"Fill has already been brought in without a permit, and it was supposed to be brought into the middle of the site, away from the property line," said Mayor O’Connor. "Now, there is no baseline for well and septic system testing, and cracks in the neighbours’ yard due to heavy trucks on the property."
The alleged damage to the neighbouring property may be dealt with by hooking the property up to municipal services.
Council referred a subsequent report to staff to investigate the legalities of asking a developer to pay for hook ups to servicing, since there is no baseline for the well and septic system.
While a grading agreement had been entered into by the township and the developer, it is simply part of the process to obtain a fill permit, and does not give permission for the dumping of fill as the Township’s Chief Building Official Brian Pigozzo explained.
"A grading agreement was signed, but not a fill permit. It’s only one part of a much bigger process," added Mr. Pigozzo.
Before work could resume at the site, council first had to sign off on two changes to the agreement, which were detailed in a report from Mr. Pigozzo.
The first change was an extension in the time line. Originally, the fill was supposed to have been brought in by Sept. 1.
With the deadline having come and gone, councillors inquired as to why work hadn’t been carried out in the agreed-upon time frame.
"I am concerned that you did not meet the conditions of the permit," commented Ward 4 Councillor Jacob Mantle. "My other issue is that we wanted it done before school, why haven’t you got it done in time?"
As Mr. Furlan explained, due to issues surrounding the availability of acceptable fill, the developer asked that the deadline be pushed back to Oct. 31.
"We are working diligently to find an acceptable source. But, it’s a moving target, and often they’ll move on to something closer, so it can be very hard to pin down," Mr. Furlan said.
The other issue at hand for councillors was fill being brought in to the existing entrance on Reach St. via a driveway near the adjacent property at the northeast corner of Reach St. and Coral Creek Dr.
In order to expedite work on the property, Mr. Furlan requested that he be given the option of bringing fill into the site via Coral Creek Dr. As he explained, fill would be brought in via a western extension of Village Green Dr. off Coral Creek Dr.
However, councillors expressed great concern over its proximity to school crossings, with both Uxbridge Secondary School and Joseph Gould Public School nearby.
"I have serious concerns about using a school crossing, where the guard has been hit twice," commented Mayor O’Connor. "You need for it to be in there, but we need for it to be as safe as possible."
Drawing upon his experience with the since-abandoned First Leaside project in downtown Uxbridge, Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger proposed a solution to dealing with the busy school crossing.
"Time it so that you’re not there when kids are crossing the street to and from school," said Councillor Ballinger.
In the meantime, work will be done to ensure trucks are no longer using the Reach St. entrance.
"It can be very difficult to control truck patterns and traffic. I’d suggest putting up a concrete barrier to block the Reach St. entrance," added Township CAO Ingrid Svelnis.
At the conclusion of the meeting, council passed a by-law authorizing a site alteration amending agreement with Mr. Furlan, and work is expected to begin soon at the site.