OMB approves settlement with City, Sifton Properties

Changes to proposed development are 'consistent with' County and Provincial policy statements

Photo via Google Maps.
Photo via Google Maps.

The Ontario Municipal Board has put its stamp of approval on a settlement reached between the City of Sarnia and Sifton Properties Limited on a proposed development in the area of Modeland Road and Michigan Ave. that was previously rejected by the municipality.

Under the terms of the deal, the proposed 6.86 acre high/medium residential designation has been reduced to a 4.23 acre medium-density residential dedication. A proposed density of 23 units per acre is now limited to 8.8 units per acre.

Sifton’s revised proposal, which still faces a review of a Draft Plan, has eliminated retirement homes, homes for the aged, nursing homes and apartment dwellings.

At the same time, the number of proposed single detached lots has been increased from 64 to 75. The proposed density has been reduced from 4.6 units per acre to 4.5 units per acre.

A reduction in the commercial designation has also been approved, referring to those as “local community” rather than “community commercial.”

There is also to be a reduction of proposed access points onto Modeland Road. Sifton had originally asked for three private driveways; under the deal, there will be one right-in, right-out access for the commercial designation and the proposed residential driveways have been eliminated.

The OMB vice chair, Steven Stefanko, in making the decision to approve the settlement, cited the expert land use planning evidence of Kevin Edwards, a planner with the City.

Edwards had told the hearing. which took place in Sarnia on June 20, 2016, that the changes outlined in the settlement agreement resulted in the sanitary sewer system being able to accommodate anticipated flows.

In addition, there would be no need to extend the transit system. Fire protection is also no longer a concern.

Stefanko said in his ruling that while “I have no doubt that the comments made, and positions advanced” by three individuals opposed to the settlement are sincerely held, “their submissions are not . . . sufficient to undermine the strength and veracity of the expert testimony.”

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