By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—The Haldimand County Planning and Development department recently updated Council on the significant development activity taking place across Haldimand this year.
To date in 2021, County staff have received 167 development applications, including 12 site plans, 116 consents and minor variances to existing applications, and 17 zoning bylaw amendments. The number is in line with 2020, which saw 161 applications, and slightly below the 196 received in 2019.
The 12 new site plan applications cover 281,422 square feet of new commercial and industrial space and 131 residential plans.
“The fees we have received to date are in excess of $637,000, which at this point is about $100,000 more than our application fees last year,” said Manager of Planning and Development Shannon Van Dalen. “The level of complexity of these applications is increasing, and the fees associated with them are increasing. From that, you’ll see larger subdivisions where we’re dealing with a lot of larger plans.”
The County has started to see the benefits of a new zoning bylaw introduced last November and then updated in September, which modernized the County planning process by eliminating the need for certain planning applications and offering a streamlined process and a decrease in cost.
Van Dalen touched on some of the behind-the-scenes work that takes place after Council has approved a new development in principle: “It gets delegated down to staff at that point to work through a number of conditions that go along with the approvals. This includes all of the engineering reviews … and working with a variety of departments and external agencies.”
For 2021, the County has received two applications for planned subdivisions with 14 active and ongoing developments, five subdivisions recently registered, and five more waiting in the wings, for a total of approximately 5,954 mixed residential units.
“There is typically, in most cases, two agreements that go along with a subdivision process,” explained Van Dalen. “A pre-servicing agreement, which allows the developer to get into the ground sooner to start their infrastructure works, and the final subdivision agreements, which set the individual lots and creates the development.”
Current ongoing developments in Caledonia include Empire Avalon, which has 16 phases of development approved with three in active construction, six registered, and two nearing registration; the development activity now spans six years. Additionally in Caledonia, the Gateway subdivision, set to add an additional 1,255 residential units to town, is proceeding on schedule, including a block of commercial property space at the intersection of Highway 6 and Haldimand Road 66. The other major development in town, Georgia Pacific, is set to include roughly 280 new units and ample green space.
Over in Dunnville, the Tamarac subdivision is in the planning stages, adding nine lots to an existing development: “Because this is an in-filling lot, there are a lot more technical components and issues that we’re reviewing from a storm water perspective,” said Van Dalen, adding that an additional small addition to the Byng subdivision would see 14 single-detached lots.
In Hagersville, the Livingston subdivision is constructing Phase One, consisting of 141 lots that have already been purchased. Phase Two, in the planning stages, will add another 690 units. Construction is also underway for Jackson Condos, a new, 77-unit apartment building, which is the largest ever residential site plan of this kind approved in Haldimand County.
Additionally, the Smith Farms development, featuring up to 456 single-detached lots and 156 townhouse units, is under review: “This is vacant lands…. Some of the factors being reviewed include environmental features, archaeological and geographical features, potential trail connections to link back in with the community, as well as the final approval of the adopted changes to the Hagersville urban boundary area.”
Phase 3A of the Jarvis Meadows subdivision is under construction, adding 49 more detached dwellings, while phases 3B and 3C are being planned with 95 single lots under consideration. The development has been underway for 10 years.
Some of the newly approved site plans include a three-storey mixed use building at 15 Talbot Street in Cayuga, which will have ground floor commercial space and eight residential apartments on the second and third floors. Construction will begin soon. In Townsend, the site plan was approved for a 30-unit townhouse development, named the Trailside development.