Ditching option of filling subdivision ditches

An open ditch in part of the Place St. Laurent subdivision in Glen Walter, Ont. Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. South Glengarry council has approved another 13 lot phase of this subdivision but the developer will have to put in a storm sewer. The township is having increasing problems with people requesting their ditches be filled shortly after development. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

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LANCASTER – The head of South Glengarry’s infrastructure has put council on notice he will be asking the township to remove the option of infilling ditches in rural subdivisions.

During a recent council meeting, Ewen MacDonald said the ditches, like the ones in the first three phases of the Place St. Laurent subdivision in Glen Walter, have a host of problems.

Those include removing the ability to throw snow on the roadside and sub-drains for houses freezing up, which the municipality has to repair.

“We are getting to a point where we’re building rural subdivisions and, immediately upon them being constructed, then we’re infilling ditches that are supposed to act like storm sewers but don’t act like storm sewers,” Mayor Ian McLeod said.

Infrastructure GM MacDonald said, with the number of infilling applications they are getting, it’s now hard to track who is doing it legitimately.

“It is very likely that I will bringing a report to council this fall asking that council reconsider that policy of infilling of ditches. It is a practice that I think is, quite frankly, being abused and it’s something that I would like to see…one way or another. You have a storm sewer or a ditch…end of discussion,” MacDonald said.

Council even took the first step against ditches.

Home are being built Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 along this section of St. Laurent Boulevard in Glen Walter, Ont. South Glengarry council has approved the next phase of this subdivision but it won’t have open ditches like the ones here. Council is in the midst of changing the practice of allowing infilling of ditches. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

As it approved the fourth phase of the Place St. Laurent subdivision, it was done with an additional condition – the developer has to put in a storm drain. The prior construction phases had open ditches.

“To give you an example…I believe there’s 12 homes under construction (in the Place St. Laurent subdivision)…we’ve been told that all of them are going to be requesting to have their ditches filled,” Community Services GM Joanne Haley told council.

The fourth phase will be 13 lots at the end of St. Laurent Boulevard, adjacent to Yacht Boulevard.

MacGregor’s subdivision drainage request is expected later this fall.