| Mar 06, 2008

Feature Article - March 6, 2008

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Feature Article - March 6, 2008 Central Frontenac CouncilBy Jeff Green

Condominium proposal subjected to public scrutiny.

Condominium ProposalA proposal to put up three 6,000 square foot town houses and create a six-unit condominium development on a 4.6 acre lot on Sharbot Lake got a rough ride from some local residents at a public meeting in Sharbot Lake last week.

The meeting took up most of a Central Frontenac Council meeting, forcing the bulk of the agenda to be deferred.

The proponent, Cameron Chiarot, is a fledgling developer from Toronto, and the son of local residents Mary and Larry Chiarot. He purchased the lot last year, and has consulted extensively with township staff since then as he has navigated through the bureaucratic process to bring the zoning amendment to this stage.

Part of the lot is within an Environmental Protection (EP) zone, and another part is in a Waterfront Residential (WR) zone. What Cameron Chiarot is seeking is a zoning amendment, from Waterfront Residential to Multiple Residential, under which designation six dwelling units would be permitted. He is also seeking approval under the condominium act from Frontenac County. The meeting was set up for public comment on both these applications.

Before the public had their chance to comment on the applications, planning consultant Glenn Tunnock made a presentation that was based on a 20-page written report he prepared on the application.

Accompanying the zoning application, Mr. Chiarot filed an archaeological report, an environmental impact statement, a geo-technical report, a topographical survey, as well as preliminary site and floor plans.

A hydro-geological study was completed as well to determine the water quality and quantity on the lot as well as its capacity for sewage treatment. Given the six- household, 18,000 square foot construction that is planned, a second hydro-geological study, or peer review, was also completed.

Glenn Tunnock’s report concluded that the studies that have been finished are sufficient to move forward with draft approval of the proposal.

Cameron Chiarot made a presentation as well, in which he stressed the “green” nature of the development, which includes geothermal heating and cooling, passive solar design, low flow appliances and separate potable and non-potable water systems in each unit.

Once Chiarot’s presentation was completed, a stream of local residents expressed an alternate perspective of the proposed development.

Former township councilor Bill Guigue expressed a view that was shared by several others when he said, “I’m not against development, but in this particular case it does not look good to me. The Official plan says 2.5 acres for a single lot. Here we have 4.5 acres, 300 feet of frontage, 6 houses, and an environmental protection zone. If you permit this kind of development you are not acting responsibly.”

John Pariselli described the development as a “watershed application in this township.” He asked Glenn Tunnock, “What precedent is this setting for other development? How many other locations will be available for this type of designation?”

“The Official Plan does not limit people’s opportunities to make applications for development. It does clearly indicate that environmental control is a limiting factor,” Tunnock replied.

“I saw this happen in north Toronto, in Muskoka; it’s happened in so many locations,” Pariselli said in summing up the concerns expressed by many at the meeting. “If this is the way the township wants to go, be aware that this is where we are going.”

Council received Tunnock’s report, and deferred their decision for a future meeting in order to consider the public comments and reports from commenting agencies.

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