New plan for subdivision offering 30m setback
A proposed west-end subdivision plan that city council rejected over concerns that it could harm a nearby wetland has been redesigned, said a planner working for the developer – now the plan shows a stormwater pond set back 30 metres from the Loggerhead Marsh, rather than 15 metres.
Plans for the Batten-White subdivision have been turned down twice by council – once in 2015, and again in 2016 (after the developer worked with city staff to change the plans substantially).
Now the developer, Murray Davenport, is appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The OMB hearing started on Wednesday at City Hall and is expected to end Sept. 21.
Ron Davidson is a planner working for Davenport. Both were called to testify on Thursday.
In an interview, Davidson said part of the Batten-White subdivision plan has been redesigned to place a stormwater pond further from the Loggerhead Marsh (which is a provincially significant wetland).
That’s a relatively new designation: the Loggerhead Marsh had been deemed locally significant up until July 2016, when the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry upgraded its status to provincially significant.
Davidson said that new status means a lot to Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA), the agency that advises the city on environmental protection matters.
ORCA was OK with a 15 m setback when the Loggerhead Marsh was classified as locally-significant, Davidson said. But the moment it was deemed provincially significant, he said ORCA wanted a 30 m setback.
So the developer has responded with a fresh plan.
“We’re saying, OK, 30 m is fine,” Davidson said.
The subdivision is proposed to be built on 49 acres of vacant land off Parkhill Rd., east of Brealey Dr.
One of Davenport’s early plans called for 200 houses on oversized lots.
It was not recommended for approval from the city’s planners, and councillors rejected that plan; they didn’t like that there was no mix of housing types, and they were concerned about potential harm to the wetland.
Davenport’s 2016 redesign called for houses, townhouses and condos. The revision also changed the placement of a sewer, moving it further from a creek that feeds Loggerhead Marsh (it was 20 m from the creek, rather than 15 m).
This time, the city’s planners recommended the subdivision to council.
But neighbours still had concerns about the potential harm to the marsh, and so did councillors. Approval for the plan lost on a tie vote.
Meanwhile two citizens still say the Loggerhead Marsh needs strong protection from encroaching development.
Maggie Xenopoulos and Paul Frost are area resident and also biology professors at Trent University; they’re party to the hearing, along with the city.
On Friday, biologist Chris Ellingwood will testify for the appellant (he’s expected to be cross-examined by Frost).
Also giving testimony on Friday will be Mike Davenport, an engineer and the son of the developer.
Alan Barber, the associate city lawyer for the City of Peterborough, left, chats with Murray Davenport following the second day of an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing Thursday at City Hall of Davenport’s appeal of city council’s decision on the proposed Batten-White subdivision on Parkhill Road West.