Development moratorium approved in Port Dover

Developers were left with lots to think about this week after Norfolk council affirmed a moratorium on new projects in Port Dover.Council acted Tuesday after learning that the number of subdivision proposals and other projects in the queue have outstripped the county’s ability to deliver treated water.“I didn’t realize it was as bad as it sounds,” said Sam Bunting of Prominent Homes in Simcoe, a spokesperson for the Haldimand-Norfolk Home Builders Association.“They’re putting all new development applications on hold (in Port Dover). That’s pretty serious. I feel for developers who’ve bought sites and made big investments. Now they’re being told to wait. That’s not a good situation for them.“From a home-builders standpoint, we’re being caught up in this along with the rest of the public.”Prominent Homes is among the more fortunate developers. They have all necessary approvals for a 37-unit subdivision in Port Dover and will be allowed to build.Problems arise for developers who’ve invested in land, engineering, infrastructure and designs but haven’t received the green light to proceed. Some have made a substantial investment in Port Dover but may now have to wait months or years before they move forward.Bunting knows of a developer who recently closed a deal for a large parcel of land in Port Dover. That investment is stranded until further notice.Mayor Kristal Chopp – a resident of Port Dover — was elected last fall on a platform of reduced red tape and fewer restrictions on development across Norfolk County.Ironically, it was Chopp who sounded the alarm after studying the numbers related to water capacity and Norfolk’s ability to accommodate new developments in Port Dover.In her state-of-the-county address to the Simcoe & District Chamber of Commerce last month, Chopp noted that Port Dover has the capacity to treat 2,454 cubic metres of water a day. Meanwhile, at peak demand, there is the potential for customers to draw 4,579 cubic metres.“It is a nightmare,” Chopp told the chamber. “This is the Dover issue that keeps me up at night, not the Misner Dam.Also losing sleep are developers like John Lennox, owner of the massive Dover Coast subdivision project on the east side of Port Dover. Dover Coast has been underway since 2005. The project is at the point where Lennox is selling 100 homes a year.Lennox told council Tuesday he has two grocers interested in building stores in the Dover Coast neighbourhood.Lennox also has ambitious plans for a 124-unit hotel complex. Since the county issued a news release this weekend about the pending moratorium, Lennox says his phone has been ringing.“I’ve been through four public works managers,” Lennox said. “The whole time we were told there was going to be no issues.“The announcement has also affected our plans for long-term care on site. There has to be a short-term solution to this plus a long-term plan, and soon. We’ve got to pick this up and solve it quickly.”Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin agreed.“There needs to be some solution on this,” Martin said. “I want to drill down on this situation and face it full steam ahead.”The moratorium impacts more than 1,300 proposed housing units in different locations around Port Dover.These include Misner Landing (90 units), the Gamble Shipyard condominium proposal (up to 240 units), Clonmel Castle (36 units denied by Norfolk but referred to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal), Dover Coast Phases III and IV (288 units), Lynn River Heights Phase II (500 units), and the Eggink subdivision (181).Another 194 housing units that have been registered and have received all necessary approvals will be allowed to proceed.They are Dover Wharf (48 units), the Harbour Heights apartment building (51 units), Silver Lake Estates Phase VI (14 units), Black Creek condominiums (15 units), Dover Coast Phase II (two units), Somerset Phase IX (30 units) and Coast Road condominiums (34 units).The medical centre approved for the Dover Coast development can also proceed.Official county notices were issued to affected developers and project sponsors Wednesday. They have been invited to a meeting of county staff and officials June 14. There, the moratorium will be discussed in greater

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