Developer expects opposition to plans to build family homes, condos
The hearing will be the first of two planning staff are scheduling for the proposed development. The company behind the project is 1721074 Ontario Ltd., owned by Norm Eady, who also owns Bryston’s on the Park in Copper Cliff.
The company needs a zoning change to move forward. The plan is to change the zoning of the almost 48-acre property from future development to low density residential for a section of the property and medium density residential for the rest.
If approved, the project would take place in three phases. The first would develop 30 family lots and a three-story, 12-unit condominium.
The next two would include the rest of the family lots and condo developments with 30 units each spread over five floors. The first phase is worth about $10 million, Eady said, with the condos starting at around $350,000 each.
The schedule for the rest of the development would depend on how quickly the lots sell.
“We’re not the only game in town,” Eady said. “It’s supply and demand.”
Access to the development would be from South Bay Road. Currently, the property is forested and is made up mostly of bedrock hills and valleys.
There are a number of restrictions in place for anyone who wants to build near Ramsey, which is the source of drinking water for about 40 per cent of Greater Sudbury.
First, municipal water and sewer systems have to be extended to the area, an especially important issue considering leaching from septic tanks have been fingered as a significant contributor to blue-green algae that plague area lakes.
Eady said a previous, much smaller development in the area was turned down by the Ontario Municipal Board because the developer wanted the homes to have septic fields. But Eady’s plan includes extending municipal water and sewer services to the area, a factor the OMB said would have changed their decision.
“Right now there’s approximately 80 lots or homeowners who live in that same area who live on just field beds,” Eady said. “And basically, if they wanted, they could jump onto the same system that I’m putting in.”
City staff has yet to offer an opinion one way or another on whether to approve the development, pending a final application and more input from the public.
However, the planning department has received several calls and letters related to the development, which focus on concerns about protecting the city’s drinking water, traffic issues and the need to preserve green spaces.
“We are already experiencing invasions of blue-green algae, which is a serious threat as my family and I also use lake water as our water source,” writes Dr. Elaine Porter, who lives on South Bay Road.
Other letters are from local environmental groups and neighbours. But Eady said a close examination of his plans shows that adding water and sewer service will reduce the blue-green algae danger in the lake. And the traffic in the area goes one way – away from Laurentian University and toward Paris Street. His development is located the other way.
While certainly not the sole cause of algae, Eady said getting rid of existing field beds in the area can help water quality.
“So we could have at a minimum 80 homes that will have the opportunity to come off septic systems and get connected to the treatment plant and have everything treated properly,” he said.
It would also complete the loop at the end of the road, both in terms of services and transportation.
“Right now, the buses go there empty once you get past the university,” he said. “And in tandem with that, the city has been trying to get a loop system in. The whole Bethel Peninsula is just one way in, one way out. If something breaks, there’s no loop system.
“And we did a traffic study and (found) everyone goes in there in the morning and then comes back out at 5 p.m. But if you lived down there, they could go right home. They wouldn’t have to go down Ramsey Lake Road.”
Considering the rest of that part of the city is already parkland, he said his would be the last development to fill in the area north of South Bay Road.
“It’s a good development,” he said, adding he’s optimistic he’ll eventually get approval.
“I would hope so. I’ve met all the zoning (issues), I’ve met the environmental issues. It fits the zoning, so why not?”