Letter: 1987 plan better for Brookswood-Fernridge

Is the 30-year-old plan so bad, asks a letter writer.

Dear Editor,

Re: Brookswood-Fernridge Defeated 2017 Community Plan

Since the 2017 update community plan was defeated (maybe) and if the consolation prize is to continue with the existing 1987 Community Plan, what are the implications? Many of us believe that if you consider the merits of the 1987 Plan, it is actually better.

There appears to be a lot of unfounded myths (mainly due to it’s 30 year age) that the existing 1987 Plan is inadequate.

Having studied it intensely, it is very well thought out with long term foresight and has thorough valid methods of controlling development.

Compared to the 2017 Plan, the 1987 Plan is more definitive and clear for all to understand how it will affect pre and post development lands and values.

It also allows flexibility and design innovation in it’s application.

1. Township Layers of Control on Development… 1987 Plan

a) Zoning approval… this applies to every proposal that needs rezoning. (Almost all)

b) Development Permits… DPs are required for all Commercial, Multi-Family Apts and Townhouses, (form-character-siting etc.)

c) The Town Centre requires a pre-Development Plan prepared and adopted by Council.

d) Conservation Areas… Development Permits are required for any development within the riparian protection setbacks, (plus other eco protections etc.)

e) Planning, Engineering, Parks, Building and other departments requirements of all current associated bylaws are applicable to each application.

f) With current applications on stream, staff is asking for all up to date provisions/services (based on 2014 findings and input) and more.

2. Neighbourhood Plans? ( NPs)

The 2017 Plan is over-complicated, less definitive and defers too much to the future uncertain NP process. It requires taxdollar expensive, 2-3 year time consuming NPs to be in place before processing development applications. With the 87 Plan, those costly NPs could be done a few years down the road.

The 1987 Plan is sufficient to allow for single family subdivision development applications without the necessity of NPs. There is nothing so complicated about building houses (SFDs) on lots that needs an N/P. It won’t make any difference. Successful Phase 1 ‘Cedar Ridge’ was done this way.

In the early development stages of a community it can take 10-15 years of single family plus some multi-family development to get the population up high enough to support commercial/business enterprise. All Multi-family is controlled by Development Permits anyway.

3. Servicing Implementation

The 1987 Plan considers affordability as phasing is not written in stone. (4.0 Implementation) It’s flexible in that it’s based on …“those areas that can connect to existing trunk lines with the least cost.”

“Service areas will expand systematically from existing trunk utilities providing a cost effective approach to growth”.

Also…”In order for development of any service area to proceed, the Township will adopt a capital works program and capital cost recovery program…”

“Developments that wish to proceed in advance of the Townships servicing programs may be considered based on the development of required services and contribution to the capital costs of all off site services”.

In my opinion;

– New trunk sanitary sewer mains should be encouraged and existing properties with aquifer risky septic systems should be enticed to connect.

– Council should not feel unduly pressured or obligated to approve the unconvincing 2017 Plan, to justify the cost and effort of the process.

– The 87 Plan will effectively restore the shaken stability and confidence to the existing property owners land uses and values.

Roland Seguin

Fernridge