By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
CALEDONIA—Haldimand County Council has been issued a draft plan for a large development project by Gateway Commercial (Caledonia) Ltd., which includes both residential and commercial development.
If approved, the new development could consist of up to 439 new single detached dwellings, 149 street-facing townhouses, a three-block spread of 667 units comprised of townhouses and apartments, and a commercial block of about 12,000 square metres.
However, the developer expects the actual residential build out to only be around 884 units total. This difference exists because the initial plan accounts for all lots being the smallest size possible, which can change over the course of planning.
“The proposed Gateway development is one that could be very good for Caledonia, cleaning up an area coming into Caledonia from the north. The proposed is a mixture of both commercial and residential use, which is good for the area,” said Ward 3 Councillor Dan Lawrence.
The lands in question are located at the southwest corner of Argyle Street North and Haldimand County Road 66. The area is a mix of previously separate lots that have been combined into one large parcel. Previously, the land was used largely for agriculture.
Planning for the new development began in 2018, with consultations taking place in May and October of that year. In 2019, an application was submitted and several studies took place in early 2020, with a full report submitted to the County on January 30.
While Lawrence is excited by the proposal, he does have some concerns with regards to ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place to accommodate the anticipated growth. “The legislation is in place for what a developer can and must provide when proposing any development, but when followed the result does not always give the community the best or realistic results,” said Lawrence. “Our schools are experiencing a large growth in student population, and thus the need for more educational facilities sooner than later, but the educational component is tied in with the Province and the Ministry of Education and not all levels are on the same page.”
The 12,000 square metres of commercial space is anticipated to be used for a range of services including a supermarket, merchandise stores, restaurants, and neighbourhood services. These services will be spread across five individual buildings and six mixed use buildings. The plan also calls for a public square for gatherings and general use.
“I am all for development as it does bring a larger tax base to Haldimand and more people to shop and support business, but as I stated, the upgrade in the local infrastructure must accompany any new future development. As for commercial development, bring it on, as the taxes are crucial to the County to aid in cost of services,” summed up Lawrence.
In addition to developments in Caledonia, Council received a request to remove holding provisions that would allow for the development of a new 47-unit condominium complex in Jarvis. The project is close to obtaining site plan approval, which is the final stage in approvals prior to applying for a building permit.