Council Update – April 28, 2020

Well what can be said about this week’s Council meeting other than wow.  Council had before it a planning application, that had been before it a number of times over the past 2 years. The application sought to add rental townhomes over at 145 and 147 Wellington street west.  This application has seen more twists and turns than any application we have dealt with at this Council.

When the proposal was first brought to Council, I stated that it required significant changes and that if it came back in its – then – current form, I would vote against it.  Well, the applicant took Council’s comments under advisement and came back with a significantly revised application.

On March 4th, when the application, in its penultimate iteration, was before Council, I stated,  “What Council had in front of  (us) was a proposal for 56 purpose built rentals, with the highly used pool to stay, the setbacks were increased to give more room and a parking strategy for during the construction was laid out that would see construction vehicles as well as extra spots needed to use the Lutheran church parking 400 m away. The remaining issue of long term parking was also addressed.  It was guaranteed in the application that no current resident will lose a parking spot. And the applicant will also be giving all current residents the first opportunity to move into one of the new rentals.”

Well last night, once again the application was on the agenda.  Council was to make a final decision on an application that is the outcome of  2 years of work between the applicant, the residents and the Town.  There has clearly been a great deal of work done on this application; a great deal of effort on all sides to come to a compromise.  This was a time for Council to make a decision.  Unfortunately, that is not what happened.

The vote on the matter proceeded as follows:  

The vote to approve the application failed. As the motion failed, a motion was needed to deny the application  – and, as this was a planning application, a reason for the denial was required.  Councillor Gaertner put forward that motion. And that vote? It failed as well.

That’s right.  The vote to approve failed and the vote to deny failed.  Despite the votes happening literally minutes apart. 

As a result of this non-decision, this application will likely now go to LPAT (the province’s new version of the OMB).  Taxpayers will foot the bill for what will, in all likelihood, be a uphill battle.  And what is also likely? LPAT could end up approving an application that will look far different than the compromise application that was before council this week.  The applicant can appeal with the original application – that will see more units, less parking, and the swimming pool gone.

How does that benefit the Town or the immediate residents in the area? It doesn’t.

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4 Responses

  1. I presume the council meeting minutes are public record. Was a roll call vote taken on each motion, such that we can see the votes for and against? This is ridiculous and a waste of our money by Aurora council. Remember this at voting time.

  2. The area is too dense already. It is a very slummy looking area. Walk around the schoolyard behind it and note the garbage blown up against the fences. It is disgusting. Approving more units is not a good compromise. No room for compromise here. The new OMB should start to consider density as a factor in pandemics. Hard to feel too sorry for the developer and all his “hard work”! Really, Tom, whose side are you on? Donna

  3. Mr Mayor, you forgot to mention that at all of the meetings the main issue was parking. The applicant was asked at every meeting to fix the number of parking spaces to accommodate EVERYONE. Each time this was not done, in fact at one meeting they added 3 more townhouses and only one more spot which made the parking even more of an issue. If the applicant is going to do this construction then make them do it right. Maybe build less townhouses so when it’s all said and done there won’t be any parking issues! I doubt you would rent a townhouse for $2500 plus with no parking spots would you Mr Mayor?

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