South Stormont rejects semi-detached homes proposal in Long Sault

Two vacant lots on the south side of French Avenue in Long Sault, Ont. on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. Picture is taken looking east from Cherry Avenue. South Stormont council has rejected a developer's proposal to build two semi-detached homes instead of two single homes. Planning Director Peter Young says the developer plans to go ahead with the single family homes and is not likely to challenge the decision made Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston., File)

LONG SAULT – The head of South Stormont’s planning department says “it’s unlikely” a developer will challenge council’s decision on a semi-detached housing proposal in Long Sault.

Township council rejected the proposal last month (Feb. 17) that would have seen two semi-detached homes built on two lots on French Avenue, immediately east of Cherry Avenue, that would have created a total of four dwellings.

The proposal faced strong opposition from the Long Sault neighbourhood, with over 30 complaints citing congestion, aesthetics and a host of other reasons. The north side of French Avenue already has semis lining most of the street.

Council rejected the application for a zoning change from Prime Home Builders, putting their reasons in writing in case there’s a legal challenge to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

Those reasons are the amendment doesn’t conform with the SD&G official plan and that the proposed development is “not consistent with the neighbourhood character and built form, specifically the continuous row of single detached dwellings on the south side of French Avenue.”

Planning Director Peter Young told council it’s unlikely Prime Home Builders will challenge the decision.

“I know from discussing with them and what they’ve communicated to council at the public meeting, they’re happy to proceed with the single detached. They are happy to revise their plans if the application is refused,” Young said.

While rejecting the application, Mayor Bryan McGillis says two families will be living in each of those homes.

Young agreed, saying the current zoning bylaw allows for a secondary unit (an apartment) inside a home, which has been allowed by the province since 2011 “to encourage affordable housing.”