Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Development won’t proceed until proper permits

Development won’t proceed until proper permits in place, says mayor
The Western Star - 13th June
Timberland Golf Resort is tied up in litigation for the time being. Mayor Bob Mercer said the reason is plain to see — the proponent, Brian Pike, simply doesn’t have the necessary permits to proceed. Mercer said the town issued a stop-work order on the project in December and sent Pike a draft development agreement in February as a starting point in negotiations. The development, on 700 acres of prime Humber Valley real estate, will feature an 18-hole golf course surrounded by 337 luxury executive homes.

A meeting was set up, but before that happened, Mercer said activity resumed at the site. He said the town was left with no choice but to proceed with an injunction against activity on the site. “Once he started work on May 22, or thereabouts, the town had no option but to proceed with an injunction, or sit back and say ‘we don’t care what he’s doing,’ ” said Mercer. “That’s not the message we give to any developer in the town. We do care and things have to be done in accordance with our town plan and our development regulations.” He said the town won’t allow any developer to start work without the proper permits, and a development agreement in place.

Mercer said Pike was issued a cutting permit five years ago, but the town’s permits expire after two years. “He was issued a permit to cut some trees and clear some land, presumably to do some farming, or whatever Highland Farms were doing at that time, not build an 18-hole golf course,” said Mercer. “He said he had all the necessary provincial permits. “What he failed to mention is all provincial permits carry the caveat — subject to you obtaining the appropriate and requisite permits from the appropriate municipal authority.” Mercer said the problem is the development is proceeding without so much as an agreement as to what will be on the land, much less a permit. “We have none of the information that we need,” said Mercer. “Why he (Pike) chooses to ignore that simple fact of reality, I don’t know. All I do know is he won’t be allowed to proceed without having an agreement in place and without the necessary permits being issued.” Brian Pike, the developer, said the details of the current legal struggles were too numerous to get into, but he has the permit he needs to do the work he was doing. link to full story

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