A New MZO Application for Two Existing Development Applications

There has been a bit of a scramble with this last Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) request.  Two Plan of Subdivision applications were well on their way in the planning process, one since July and the second since September.

This January, a revised submission for one of the projects was received by the township, along with notice that there would be a revision forthcoming on the second application.  Late last month, the property owners Bromont Homes/CSU Developments/Vargas Properties et al decided to merge the two projects, and add in another adjacent property and request an expedited zoning approval for the whole lot.  Apparently, they want to get moving.

There are two separate locations covered by the MZO request, which are both in the vicinity of the intersection of Fallis Line and County Rd. 10.  The applicant refers to them as Fallis East and Fallis West.

The original application for development was for Parcel 1 or Fallis West which lies directly west of Towerhill South, at the municipal addresses 787 and 825 Fallis Line.  Within this 49.2 hectare (121.6 acres) area, the original application sought approval for a 696 residential subdivision, and included 371 detached units, 25 townhouse blocks for a total of 125 townhouse units and two medium density blocks incorporating up to 200 apartments. Through peer review and agency comments since the original application, the residential units have fallen to 669 units.

Fallis East is the site of a Completed Application for a Plan of Subdivision submitted to Peterborough County in September.  The site is located to the south east of the intersection of Fallis Line and County Rd. 10, with a 300 m frontage along the County Road and a 580 m frontage along a future eastern extension of Fallis Line.  The municipal address of the site is 963 County Rd. 10 and it consists of 33.63 hectares (77 acres) in total.  The original application sought permission to create a mixed used commercial/residential development with 70 residential units, 10 townhouses and a commercial block facing County Rd. 10 which could accommodate a grocery store, gas bar, offices, restaurants or retail.  This was the location that could potentially accommodate a Kawartha Credit Union branch.

The third property, located at the municipal address of 917 County Rd 10, consists of 77 acres at the north east corner of Fallis and County Rd. 10.  This additional site allowed the proponents to reconfigure the commercial component of their development plans.  In this new application, the majority of the commercial development has been relocated to the north on the new property, where the land is flatter.  Maps provided by the applicant indicate that only a small portion of this property is contemplated for development at this time, all of which would be commercial.

In discussing the MZO request, the applicant stressed that the development would remain subject to all of the regular planning processes and indeed many of the studies have already been completed.  Detailed control over the residential development are retained through the plan of subdivision and site plan controls.

To improve the appeal of the submission, the applicants pointed out that the new plan incorporates 80 apartment dwellings they describe as affordable housing located in the four-story buildings in the Commercial/Mixed use areas.  The 201 townhome dwellings they categorize as “attainable” housing.

In the original submission for the Fallis East location, the Financial Impact Study prepared by Watson and Associates which supports the application suggests the commercial development could create approximately 114 new jobs.  This is the carrot.

As in the Fraserville development, this applicant agreed that the commercial component of the project would come before the residential development.  Staff will prepare a development agreement that incorporates this commitment.    With that understanding, Council support for the MZO request was granted by a vote of three to two.  To date, there has been no decision on the Fraserville MZO application.

These housing units were already headed our way.  The MZO, if approved, just helps them arrive more quickly.  Apparently the trade- off in expediting the completion of 749 new residential units was worth the appeal of a potential 114 new jobs.  Let’s hope those jobs materialize and are in fact new ones and not jobs that are relocating from struggling downtown businesses.  KG

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