Welles­ley to over­haul its rules for de­vel­op­ment in the town­ship

Re­view ap­proved for town­ship stan­dards that haven’t been changed for two decades

The Woolwich Observer - - VENTURE - LIZ BEVAN

NEW PROVIN­CIAL REG­U­LA­TIONS AND the prospect of some new growth have prompted Welles­ley to re­vise its de­vel­op­ment stan­dards for the first time since 1997.

The re­view ap­proved by coun­cil last week will see the town­ship up­date its by­laws and rules gov­ern­ing new con­struc­tion. It could also have an im­pact on is­sues such as on-street park­ing as ac­ces­si­bil­ity be­comes even trendier with Queen’s Park.

Changes to the Ac­ces­si­bil­ity for On­tar­i­ans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act (AODA) and a shift in the town­ship’s fo­cus prompted the re­view, com­pleted by the de­part­ments of pub­lic works, plan­ning and build­ing, along with an out­side en­gi­neer­ing con­sul­tant. The idea was to up­date the town­ship’s guide­lines for de­vel­op­ers and de­sign­ers look­ing to build sub­di­vi­sions, sev­er­ances, in­fill lots, con­do­mini­ums, res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial prop­er­ties.

Kevin Beggs, di­rec­tor of pub­lic works with the town­ship, pre­sented the changes to the de­vel­op­ment stan­dards doc­u­ment to coun­cil on Apr. 11. He told coun­cil­lors there were quite a few new ad­di­tions to the doc­u­ment, high­light­ing ac­ces­si­bil­ity and com­pli­ance with the provin­cial AODA.

“Go­ing for­ward, this is new to the town­ship. We are go­ing to be re­quest­ing that we have side­walks on both sides of our streets in new de­vel­op­ments,” he said. “We have to fol­low the ac­ces­si­bil­ity act, which now in­cludes things like the width of a side­walk – 1.5 me­tres – that is a big one.”

The ac­ces­si­bil­ity act also prompts mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in On­tario to add di­rec­tional lines to in­ter­sec­tions and de­tectable plates to be put at in­ter­sec­tions. Safety was also a fac­tor in some of the other changes to the town­ship’s de­vel­op­ment stan­dards.

“This is new, too, to the Town­ship of Welles­ley. We are go­ing to have park­ing on one side of the street only. I think the rea­son we are push­ing that one is be­cause we find when peo­ple park on both sides of the street, we can’t main­tain a six-me­tre emer­gency route,” shared Beggs. “We find, too, our neigh­bour­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are do­ing the same thing.”

New traf­fic calm­ing mea­sures are also out­lined in Welles­ley’s de­vel­op­ment stan­dards, although they have not been put into wide­spread prac­tice in the town­ship.

“We thought that we should iden­tify it be­cause it seems like it should be some­thing that the town­ship should be look­ing at in the fu­ture with new de­vel­op­ment,” said Beggs, adding that there are new stan­dards for util­i­ties in new de­vel­op­ments, as well. “We make sure all our util­i­ties in new de­vel­op­ment are un­der­ground. We have a cross-sec­tion in our roads that ba­si­cally say where we want these util­i­ties: hy­dro, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, ca­ble, gas, fire hy­drants and street light­ing.”

Stormwa­ter man­age­ment ponds, of which the

town­ship has nine, are also in­cluded in this year’s and the last de­vel­op­ment stan­dards doc­u­ment, but now, Beggs says they will be fol­low­ing through with the guide­lines set out by the town­ship.

“Ev­ery storm wa­ter man­age­ment pond should have a sign stat­ing what the pond is and how it works for the pub­lic to see. It is to make the pub­lic aware that ev­ery­thing that goes down the catch basins, it will end up in that pond and it will af­fect the qual­ity of wa­ter,” he said. “We are work­ing on the signs to be put up, hope­fully in 2017.”

Coun. Carl Smit ques­tioned why the de­vel­op­ment stan­dards hadn’t been up­dated for two decades.

“We thought it was time to do it. I think we have got­ten by in the past with the way it is, but we started this in 2016 and thought, ‘you know what, it is some­thing that we should do.’ Go­ing for­ward, we are go­ing to say yearly, or as trends change,” said Beggs, men­tion­ing there was no set sched­ule for the re­view process.

The re­view cost the town­ship $3,200 in en­gi­neer­ing fees.


Welles­ley Town­ship is cur­rently re­vamp­ing its de­vel­op­ment stan­dards for projects such as the sub­di­vi­sion cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion at Ger­ber and Green­wood Hill roads.

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