• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Former mayor’s wife gets ok for controversial plaza plan

In Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
Oct 29th, 2013

NVCA approves commercial development in Angus flood zone
New Tecumseth Free Press October 28, 2013
The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) has given its approval, with conditions, to a commercial plaza located entirely within the regulated flood plain at 350 Mill Street in Angus.
A joint proposal by Leesa Turnbull, whose husband is former Essa mayor David Guergis, and Georgian International Land Corporation (who own Georgian Chrsyler among other holdings in Simcoe County) for seven commercial units covering 4,875 m2 (52,000 sq. ft.) to include retail, bank, office, restaurant, coffee shop and automotive services. Total site is 2.3 hectares (5.6 acres).

On May 14, 2010, a previous NVCA Board approved a similar proposal for a 1.2 hectare (3 acre) commercial development on the same property, which at the time was deemed to small for the proposed Canadian Tire that was planning to build its first store in Angus. The previous approval lapsed.
Last Friday, the NVCA board approved the larger area but attached four conditions. They include:
1) That the applicant has 2 years to fulfill the conditions below;
2) That prior to staff issuance of the permit, the applicant must fulfill the following: i) Engage a professional engineer to demonstrate to the satisfaction of NVCA staff that the proposal can be appropriately floodproofed and withstand Regional Storm flood conditions; ii) Engage a professional engineer to demonstrate to the satisfaction of NVCA staff that stormwater runoff can be managed consistent with Ministry of Environment and NVCA requirements; iii) Provide detailed plans prepared by a qualified engineer to the satisfaction of NVCA staff addressing site  grading, erosion and sediment control and restoration of all disturbed areas; iv) Protect the remaining floodway from future development to the satisfaction of NVCA and Township of Essa  through appropriate measures, and; v) Obtain Site Plan Approval from the Township of Essa.
3) That a permit, subject to NVCA’s standard permit conditions be obtained;
4) That in addition to the standard conditions, the NVCA permit will also include (but not be limited to) conditions stating: i) The development must be appropriately floodproofed with the minimum opening elevation of all proposed structures being at least 0.3 metres above the Regional Storm flood elevation; ii) That lands below the one in one hundred year flood level to be filled will be compensated for through the removal of fill from the undeveloped part of the property within the floodway, and;  iii) That the owner/applicant shall engage a qualified professional to certify that the works were constructed in accordance with the plans, reports and specifications as approved by the NVCA.

On Oct. 16, Essa council passed a motion that requests the Committee of Adjustment “to require, that as a condition of consent, the floodway parcel be zoned as EP in order that the Township comply with the direction of the Province to protect the health and safety of residents, and be open and transparent in order to reduce liability to the taxpayers of Essa Township going forward.”
“With a Hold Zone, it is my understanding that at such time that it comes up for removal in the future, and Council makes such decision to do so, there would be no appeal available to any member of the public, or any agency if the “Hold” is dropped. Whereas, if the subject parcel is zoned “EP”, there would be more opportunity for public and agency airing (notice, public meeting, potential appeals to the OMB, The developer/owner, of course would still have his development opportunity, should he be able to justify by planning, engineering and other professional studies that the EP zone should be lifted and it be zoned for some other use. Also, by zoning it as EP, it will be less likely for potential purchasers to be misled in thinking that further development has been somehow “pre-approved” and could occur on the remnant parcel. At this point, the remnant parcel is being considered the floodway at this location in support of developing the 22,680 m2 (5.6 acres) of land at the south west portion of the property.”
This represents the second development application in the past two months that the NVCA board has approved inside the regulated flood zone, the first being a residential unit in New Tecumseth. As well, a majority of the board approved amending its strategic plan to permit development where it already exists, inside flood plains.


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