Dysart et al council got its first look at the site plan for a massive new retail development in Haliburton but are getting pushback on the municipal securities requirements.

The municipal committee of the whole reviewed a proposed development at 10 Hops Dr., along County Road 21, featuring a 10,000-square-foot retail store, a restaurant with a drive-thru and a gas bar. The tenants of the buildings are undetermined.

But the developer, Toronto-based Marnac Management Corp., is disputing the cost of securities to be held by the municipality. The municipality is requiring $201,390 based on work-cost estimates, while the developer is estimating $153,597. Council received the report for information, with the developers scheduled to make their case at the Sept. 26 council meeting.

“There’s probably some room to negotiate here,” Deputy Mayor Patrick Kennedy said. Mayor Andrea Roberts said there is the possibility to adjust the percentages on securities, considering how significant a development this is for the community. “We know development on that property will be good for our community,” Roberts said. “We have to weigh that out.”

But Coun. Larry Clarke said they should defer to staff.

“We have to be consistent,” Clarke said.

“There’s a precedent that’s established. We have to be professional in how we address this.”

Drive-thru questioned

The municipality has several requirements for the development, such as compatibility with local landscaping and compliance with the official plan.

Coun. John Smith asked about requiring the removal of the drive-thru, concerned about the environmental impact of idling cars.

“There will certainly be many people who will be upset at the thought of a drive- thru restaurant,” Smith said. “Many other communities have already placed a limit on them because of the impact in terms of greenhouse gases.”

Roberts said the municipality has previously refused a drive-thru development due to proximity to a residential area.

Senior planner Kris Orsan said there is nothing in the official plan for limiting drive-thrus, but it is something that could be considered.

Coun. Walt McKechnie did not agree with cutting it out entirely.

“I don’t think I’m the only guy who has a car that shuts down when sitting on a red light,” he said. “Are we really discussing not being open for fast-food restaurants for drive-thru? This is 2020, isn’t it?”

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