Dysart et al council gave its official blessing to a site plan agreement to push forward a new 70-unit seniors housing complex.

Council quickly voted unanimously during a special meeting Sept. 9. to pass the site plan. The approval gives the project at 1 Sunnyside St. what it needs to start lifting an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) holding provision, which is preventing construction from proceeding.

Gardens Retirement Development Inc. president Bill Mardimae thanked council for their co-operation.

“It’s been a bit of a bumpy road getting here,” Mardimae said. “This sort of opens up the log jam to get us going.”

The site plan outlines the details of the development and includes various provisions the developer must adhere to.

With the approval, the developer can now apply to a local planning appeal tribunal to issue a final order on the OMB ruling, at which point Dysart council can lift the holding provision. The property can then be rezoned, and a building permit issued.

The ruling stems from a previous development years ago, which never went forward on the property.

“It’s been frustrating,” Mayor Andrea Roberts said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like this, Usually, Ontario Municipal Board decisions are final, and they are clear, and this was very murky. Plus, you take on top of that time and how many years have gone by.”

Meanwhile, Gardens Retirements Inc. are preparing to do blasting work on the site to make way for future development. Roberts said council would call another special meeting if needed to lift the holding provision as soon as possible.

“This is a really good day,” Roberts said. “I want to thank staff and also Bill for your patience and continuing to want to continue with this project that we really do need here in Haliburton.”

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