Moulinette Rd. development raises controversy

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Moulinette Rd. development raises controversy
The proposed entrance area to the four townhouse development. Pictured at the left of the property is the 'stone house', which the developer is requesting to separate from the proposed dwellings. Shawna O'Neill/TC Media.

SOUTH STORMONT, Ontario – About 30 concerned community members attended a special meeting at South Stormont Township on Wednesday, March 27 to discuss proposed rezoning amendments pertaining to 23 Moulinette Rd.

Tensions were running high among attendees as many voiced their concerns over the safety of the community and the historical significance of the property. The general consensus of present community members conveyed that they were against seeing a development move forward on the property.

“At some point, we actually need someone on council to stick up for this village and actually say ‘we want development, but not at any cost,'” said Gillian Gardner, community member.

Marty Cameron, the individual seeking to develop on the property, is proposing to construct a four unit townhome on the approx. 37,000 sq. ft vacant land at 23 Moulinette Rd., which is not permitted under the current zoning. Cameron has requested a special exception to allow that certain zone provisions be reduced, including minimum footage, front and rear setbacks as well as exterior side yard setbacks. Further specifics about the rezoning amendment proposal can be found here.

“We are trying to cater to a senior population,” said Cameron following the presentation. “Not only do they have needs, but their needs are not being met with the type of housing and dwellings that are available on the rental market…this provides an option to them.”

“What I see here when I see that (proposal) is…I see houses that have to be put sideways to cram into that lot as full as you can…it seems like the standards can be bought…and with the right price tag, you can do what you want in this village,” said Gardner.

Gardner said she would have purchased the property if she knew an individual cared to develop on it. She, and many other attendees, shared stories of playing on the land as children beside the home known as the stone house. The home, as many described as their fixer-upper farm house fantasy, is feared to be forgotten if the development is to move forward. Many also voiced their sentimental feelings towards the vacant space, which conveys a snapshot of the seasons, with flowers blooming during the spring and summer.

“You can’t begin to imagine how magical that property is and there’s not a single person in this village that if you say ‘stone house’ they don’t know what house it is,” said Gardner. “The family that was there cared for it and protected it for generations…and the second someone gets old and puts it up for sale, we have developers licking their lips to do this to that property and that’s disgusting.”

“The inventory of vacant lots in this area is insane. Go down Manning Rd., go into Chase Meadows, go into Arrowhead Estates…” added Gardner. “All I’m asking is you understand we want green in this village, we want history in this village and we want this village to remain like the village it was that we all grew up in. I’m not against progress.”

Cameron acknowledged the concerns of community members but maintained that through his plan, his rental development is attempting to blend in and reduce the overall footprint of the area, and he believes that he is following the rules.

“They (community members) had some issues over the butternut trees, but really, you need a specialist to comment on those,” said Cameron, who will seek to have the trees assessed.

Many community members also voiced concerns over the safety of the development, including Graham Barkley, former local Fire Chief, who suggested accessibility to the units for fire services may be problematic. The entrance to the development, proposed to be from Manning Rd., also raised questions and suggestions to implement a sidewalk, wider shoulder or pedestrian walk way as many feel the corner is already problematic due to fast drivers.

“This is our town, our village, and this property is of historical significance, and it needs to be maintained,” said one attendee.

“It seems people can do whatever they want in this town and it needs to stop,” added another attendee.

“I think it’s time to stop looking at one lot at a time and start looking at our village as a whole. What do we want our community to look like?,” said Helen Dunlop, community member.

Anyone wishing to be notified about the decision or developments pertaining to the proposed amendment is encouraged to email as council opted to make a decision at a later date.



Share this article