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Developer pitches 'estate-style' project in Midhurst

Proposed development would include trails, park on St. Vincent Street; 'We’d like to proceed as quickly as we can,' says proponent

Springwater Township council is considering a request for the development of a new 32-lot “estate-style” subdivision in Midhurst, just outside the Barrie city limits.

Jonathan Godfrey, of S. Godfrey Co. Ltd., recently presented a delegation to township council outlining the company’s draft plan of subdivision application for the 42.5-acre property at 980 St. Vincent St. The submission would also include a zoning amendment request.

Each lot, he noted, would be more than half an acre in size and contain at least 100 feet of lot frontage. Other proposed features include a neighbourhood park and trail around the outer 30-metre environmental protection area.

“It’s a project I have been working on for approximately 11 years, working originally with the Mallory family, who owned the property back to the 1970s,” he said. “This is a piece of land that is very flat and very cleared table land.”

The entrance to the development is being proposed off St. Vincent Street, Godfrey explained, and will also contain the stormwater management area, a large public park that will eventually become township property. The 15-acre exterior boundary of the property, which is zoned environmental protection, will also be township-owned.

“There’s a trail we have proposed going around the outside of it, which also creates a link to Carson Road and the Paddy Dunn’s Circle area — a link that, up until today, hasn’t existed in that section of Midhurst,” he said. “When you look at Midhurst, it’s a little divided. There’s one side of it and the other side of it.

"We think this development will provide a nice linkage between the eastern and western parts of Midhurst.”

The project has been through multiple processes, Godfrey noted, including an appeal with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Minutes of settlement were agreed to and completed through the the Ontario Land Tribunal in March, he added.

“We have been through the entire pre-consultation process on the property. We have completed all of the studies that were requested and required, and we really look to build this development ecology first,” he said. “We’ve spent… three or four years going back and forth with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority to determine what the best uses for the property were, and this is the eventuality of that which will be submitted.”

Willow Creek would run across the north part of the property, Godfrey noted, adding there will be a trail system of approximately 1.5 kilometres around the entire site.

“We have worked very, very hard to make sure what we are doing fits into the Midhurst Secondary Plan and into the Springwater Official Plan, as well as the County of Simcoe’s Official Plan. It conforms to pretty much everything across the board,” he said.

Coun. Jack Hanna, who represents Ward 5, wondered about a slide that shows an extension of the Carson Road allowance ending at green space on the development property, and he questioned whether that was done with the hope there might one day be an extension of the road allowance to the property from the west.

“I would be silly not to realize that there might be an opportunity for Carson Road to be opened, and it makes a lot of sense from a number of perspectives,” answered Godfrey. “This development creates an opportunity for the township to have a throughway. The way we are proposing is as a pedestrian throughway, but in the future… it may well make sense to open up Carson Road to both sides and the township will own the land to do it.”

Brent Spagnol, the townships’s director of planning services, noted there are currently no plans to extend Carson Road, adding the land there is zoned environmental protection.

The hope, said Godfrey, would be to begin construction on the development within one year.

The project is being proposed as a partially serviced development, which Godfrey noted is similar to the way the existing part of Midhurst is developed.

“Our functioning services report indicates there’s more than enough capacity for water services along Bayfield Street, which will come along the Carson Road unopened road allowance. Our hope is that this is something council, and the township, will find acceptable and that turnaround would be sometime within the next year. We’d like to proceed as quickly as we can,” he said.

Council received the presentation as information. The proponent will now be required to submit applications to the township for subdivision and zoning approval.

Applications for development under the Planning Act also require notification be sent to surrounding property owners and agencies, and a public meeting will need to be held prior to the project being approved.