Gardens Retirement Development Inc. and Dysart et al are meeting Sept. 9 about the plan for the new seniors housing complex at 1 Sunnyside St.

The municipality has scheduled a special council meeting to discuss passing a site plan agreement for the massive, 74-unit housing development.

“The municipality is continuing to work to move this project forward,” planning manager Sue Harrison said at an Aug. 27 council meeting. “This is a complex project.”

The development has faced legal hurdles due to a holding provision on the property, stemming from an Ontario Municipal Board ruling. The provision prevents rezoning of the property and the municipality can only lift it when certain conditions are met.

The site plan agreement is the next step to get the building off the ground. If accepted, it would need further approval by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, according to director of planning Jeff Iles. Once the tribunal issues an order, the developer can apply to remove the holding provision to get the correct zoning in place. Once that is done, the municipality can issue a building permit.

Mayor Andrea Roberts said the municipality has worked hard to get this project going.

“We are doing everything we can. Every time I go into Sue (Harrison)’s office, there’s nothing on her desk but the Gardens (Retirement Development Inc.),” Roberts said.

To that end, the municipality offered to hold a special council meeting to get the project its approvals as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, the developer is moving ahead with clearing the site.

With the school building previously on the site now demolished, workers began clearing out trees on the property Sept. 3. After the trees are cleared, the developer plans to do blasting work on a ridge in the property.

Harrison said the municipality has received several concerns about work on the property, including about tree removal, blasting notification and pedestrian access.

Nearby residents have also received notices about the blasting from DST Consulting Engineers Inc. and general contractor Leeswood Construction, offering well-testing prior to the blasting.

“DST Consulting Engineers is performing well water testing as well as quantity analysis to ensure there is no disturbance to wells in the area,” Leeswood Construction wrote in an Aug. 15 notice. “We will do our best to limit disruption to you during this process.”

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