It was always part of the plan to develop a small community of adult lifestyle homes on the property that Baxter Creek Golf Club calls home, but the venture has been thwarted by planning regulations. Recent changes to the provincial planning framework have opened a small crack through which a possible development may proceed, but there are many hurdles the project will face along the way.
The development envisioned includes a 49-unit adult lifestyle residential community on the 167 acre property including a mix of single and semidetached units operated as a right-to-occupy or a life lease. The units will be incorporated into the golf course and serviced by a communal water and sewage disposal systems. While the occupancy agreements will permit year-round residency, the proponents expect most occupants will be seasonal residents. The property owners plan to develop winter opportunities including ski and snowshoe trails in the future.
Preliminary consultations with County and Township staff and the proponents have been conducted to determine if and how the proposal can move forward. As a minimum, it would require amendments to both the County and Township Official Plans and zoning by-laws, as well as a site plan.
There are challenges to overcome to find ways for the development to conform to provincial planning legislation, but for the township the greater concern is the servicing of the community.
The Safe Drinking Water Act prohibits non-municipal drinking water systems servicing six or more private residences within a municipality without its written consent. Similar legislation addresses sewage systems. The construction, operation and maintenance of both services would typically be stipulated in a municipal servicing agreement, outlining consequences of any system failure or deficiency. It would be backed up with a form of financial guarantee by the owners to ensure adequate financial resources are available to resolve any issue arising with the private water and sewer systems servicing the community.
This project could offer an appealing downsizing alternative for active seniors looking for an attractive, country setting with minimal property maintenance responsibilities. Mow the lawn or tee off? Sounds like an easy choice….. KG