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Guelph-Eramosa requests agreement before considering temporary use bylaw

by Jaime Myslik

BRUCEDALE - Guelph-Eramosa council asked for a development agreement at the Feb. 20 meeting, before considering approval of a temporary use bylaw application for an Ariss property.

David and Luella Gorgi have submitted a bylaw amendment application to allow the existing house on their property on Schaefer Road in Ariss to remain on site for up to three years while they build a new house on the same property.

“Based on the planning act they have the ability to ask for a three year temporary use, which allows two homes,” said Mayor Chris White in an interview on Feb. 26. “Now our take has always been 90 days - build a new home, get 90 days after the new home is up to rip the old one down.

“This is the first time we’ve ever seen a three-year one.”

The existing house has current tenants and the intent is to allow the tenants to remain for the full three years, said township planning consultant Dan Currie in his report. If approved, the property owners will also have the option to request another three-year extension on the temporary use bylaw.

Council’s hesitation to approve the request comes from the unknowns, White said.

“What if [the tenants] are not evicted?” White said.

“What if they’re not out in three years? Who takes that on and does it look like the township’s evicting people?

“We don’t want that so we’ve got to build something into the [development] agreement to deal with that issue.”

White said council also doesn’t want to set a precedent for similar requests in the future.

“We don’t like the precedent, we don’t like the potential exposure to the municipality,” he said. He added that the development agreement will include security so the municipality has funds available from the property owners to pay for things like evicting the current tenants, tearing down the house or legal fees if the property owners do not comply with the development agreement.

“It will allow us to do it on their dime,” White explained. “So it’s a security to make sure that the commitment they make to bring the house down happens.”

The township planners and the applicants will sort out the development agreement and bring it back to council for consideration.

“We could have turned it away at the meeting but it was felt that, (out of) due diligence and fairness to the applicant, we want to make sure we know all the information before we decide,” White said.

“So we’re giving them an opportunity to make the case as opposed to just blanket turn it away.”

Once a development agreement is met, township planners will bring it back to council for consideration.


March 2, 2018


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