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Ancaster condo developer returns to drawing board

Secondary plan appeal struck down

By Mike Pearson, News staff

After losing an appeal to construct a 24-unit condominium project at 121 Fiddler’s Green Road, a developer will use the Wilson Street Secondary Plan as a guideline for future development.

Gabriel Gasbarrini of Award Construction appeared at a Nov. 22 Ontario Municipal Board meeting that dealt with a motion to dismiss an appeal of the secondary plan. The former site of the condominiums falls within the boundary of the secondary plan, which was approved by city councillors earlier this year.

In a separate hearing in October, the OMB sided with residents and the city who opposed Gasbarrini’s condominium project. Neighbours said the project is out of place in an area predominated by single family homes.

Gasbarrini appeared at Thursday’s OMB proceedings to support the secondary plan.

“It’s a new blackboard for us,” said Gasbarrini. “We would have to have our professionals study the secondary plan.”

Douglas Road residents Tom and Teresa St. Michael asked the OMB to allow their appeal of the Wilson Street secondary plan to stand, even though their objection was filed after the secondary plan had been approved by Hamilton’s planning committee on June 15. The St. Michaels were among more than a dozen area residents who also opposed the condominium plan.

At Thursday’s hearing, OMB adjudicator Susan Schiller accepted the testimony of city solicitor Michael Kovacevik who noted the St. Michaels did not submit oral or written comments on the secondary plan prior to a public meeting. In accordance with the planning act, individuals who do not submit oral or written comments at a statutory public meeting automatically waive their right to launch an OMB appeal.

Schiller said the OMB has no discretion to overturn the rule.

After the St. Michaels confirmed they did not make oral or written submissions, Schiller struck down their appeal request.

“You are statute barred from making an appeal,” said Schiller.

In previous interviews, Teresa St. Michael said residents did not understand the implications of the secondary plan until after the document was approved. St. Michael took issue with a low density residential three designation which impacts about five Douglas Road properties. She fears the designation, which splits part of Douglas Road, will open the door to higher density development similar to the Fiddler’s Green condominium project.

At the Nov. 22 motion hearing, Kovacevik said the city approved the plan in a transparent manner during a 15-month public consultation period beginning in January of 2011.

“To suggest trickery was involved…is offensive to the extreme,” said Kovacevik.

In accordance with the Wilson Street Secondary Plan, the 121 Fiddler’s Green property has a maximum building density of 60 units per hectare, according to a recent OMB decision.

Gasbarrini’s condominium project which was denied by the OMB proposed a density of 77.8 units per hectare.

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