SCUGOG: In light of recent construction projects drawing concern from the community, Scugog Township decided to review its planning process, with a push towards greater transparency.
With a total of nine projects requiring public input on the docket, and many more, potentially on the way, Township staff asked for more time to discuss projects with the public, at a meeting on Monday, Jan. 26.
The current process for the planning of new properties or developments lacks a critical step, according to Scugog’s Director of Community Services Don Gordon. “While we hold public meetings to receive the people’s input and thoughts, it may be helpful to follow up with those residents who submitted information or suggestions - giving us an opportunity to work towards solutions,” said Mr. Gordon.
Lately, proposed subdivisions in the south of Prince Albert and on King St. near Simcoe St., have provoked numerous environmental and quality of life concerns from neighbouring residents.
“These additional meetings would mean more time committed for all involved, but I do think it is warranted in most of these nine coming cases,” said Mr. Gordon.
Despite the possible friction which may be created, Mr. Gordon suggested that the proponents of these projects be present to hear from their neighbouring residents and to speak to their concerns.
Scugog Mayor Tom Rowett supported the motion, citing the importance of his constituents voicing their concerns.
“The Township will continue to send out information packages to all residents within 120 metres of a new development, and schedule a public meeting,” said Mr. Gordon. “Moving forward, we will try to include the most recent information we have available - so that people can understand what the Township can and can’t do.”
According to Mr. Gordon, the new meeting policy will be implemented on major projects within Scugog Township, on a case-by-case basis, since some topics will require more discussion than others.