BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: The hopeful effort to bring a hotel and resort complex to Scugog Island has been stalled, after neighbours near the site filed complaints to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The development, put forward by Marsh Forest Group in 2005, aims to be built on a 60-acre parcel, located at 138 Portview Rd.
The proposed hotel would feature nearly 20,000 square feet of hotel, timeshare and recreation space - with room set aside for restaurant, retail and meeting space.
Nearby neighbours, such as Janet Hanley-Haines, a resident of Portview Rd. for more than 40 years, have shared their concerns with Scugog Council in deputations and letters.
“We’re concerned about traffic, inadequate ground water, the destruction of our local landscape and even the wildlife in the area,” Ms. Hanley-Haines told The Standard. “There are a few accidents along Island Rd. every week, and this sprawling development will only make things worse.”
The appellants have numerous major issues and possible problems, while the proponent of the project, Peter Favot, defends the developer’s care and effort put into conservation. Mr. Favot has expressed frustration with the appeal, which shut down the project after many months of planning.
According to Scugog’s Director of Community Services Don Gordon, efforts have been made by Marsh Forest Group to see their groundwater and sewage treatment sites tested independently, and have worked closely with Township staff over the past years.
“The development satisfied the parameters of the Regional and Municipal plans, and our local by-laws,” said Mr. Gordon. “However, if a neighbour appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board and raises issues, it needs to be spoken to at a hearing.”
The matter was brought to the OMB last week, on Thursday, Nov. 13, and all parties involved were called to testify and present their evidence to the tribunal.
“The process is very similiar to a court case, and the development will be halted until the OMB returns its findings,” said Mr. Gordon. “The issue is entirely up in the air at this point, we could hear back in three days, or we could hear back in three months.”
Further information will be updated as it becomes available.
Scugog Township has estimated that the development will cost roughly $8 million to build, and will bring in about $42,500 per year in taxes.
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