Champlain rejects zoning change despite alignment with provincial and county development policy

Par Antoine Messier
Champlain rejects zoning change despite alignment with provincial and county development policy
Le conseil municipal de Champlain a rejeté la demande de changement de zonage pour le lotissement Clifftondale, maintenant appelé Park View Homes, à l'extrémité est de la zone urbaine de Vankleek Hill. (Photo : photo d'archives)

The Council of the Municipality of Champlain has rejected the zoning change application for the Clifftondale subdivision, now named Park View Homes, at the eastern end of Vankleek Hill’s urban area.

Champlain Township received the application from Park View Homes on Feb. 6 to change the land designation from low-density residential to medium-density residential to permit the construction of 79 rowhouses and 16 low-rent apartments. The application was deemed complete on February 27.

The council rejected the change, citing the low-density nature of the surrounding town of Vankleek Hill, inadequate road infrastructure for the proposed project, incompatible activity with nearby railways and concerns regarding the inadequacy of the water supply at the extremity of Vankleek Hill.

All counsellors voted to reject the zoning amendment.

Riopel explained that council believes rowhouses do not match the low-density nature of the town of Vankleek Hill, and roads used for the proposed subdivision including Newton Road and Hibbard Street are not currently in good enough condition to handle the influx of traffic. However, he added that arrangements for road renovations could be made with the contractor if the project were to go through.

Riopel said a study would need to be made to determine if the waterpipes at the eastern extremity of the development area are sufficiently large to carry water to 95 dwellings, though Vankleek Hill’s water supply overall is sufficient.

Amendment analysis

The report presented to council by consulting planner Marc Rivet, says the proposed development is in agreement with county and provincial land use policy, as it provides an appropriate range of housing options and density. The report states that existing watermains and sanitary sewers have sufficient capacity for the proposed development, and could make use of the existing road infrastructure. However, the section of Hibbard Street where the project is being proposed is currently a gravel road.

No major issues were reported for the use of the land as there are no significant natural or cultural heritage features in the area, no waterbodies, no known mineral deposits or archeological resources and no known hazards.

According to the report, the proposed development would also contribute to the financial well-being of the county through property tax income. The report also stated the proposed development does not prevent efficient expansion of the settlement area of Vankleek Hill .

The site of the request currently has a draft approval dated July 26, 2022, to permit the construction of 20 detached dwellings, 10 semi-detached dwellings and a multi-residential unit of 16 apartments. The land was purchase by Park View Homes in September 2023.

Applicants have 20 days to appeal the decision to the municipality of Champlain, who would then forward the appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

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