Concerned Dundas residents were at city hall Friday to oppose a proposed development they say will ruin escarpment views and add unwanted density.
The development, which in its original proposal would see a six-storey, 48-unit building at 24 Brock St. N, is now in the hands of the Ontario Municipal Board. After council shut down that proposal from Eco Building Inc. in September, the developer appealed to the OMB.
Since then, local councillor Russ Powers said the developer has come back with a new plan. City council passed a new motion Friday to keep the details of that new proposal confidential until council gives the final approval, because it is part of compromise settlement negotiations.
"There are very significant changes offered up by the proponent," said Powers after the council meeting.
But there is a lot to happen before that final approval can happen, if it will happen. Three parties — the city, the developer and the residents group — need to come to an agreement.
The battle for the residents started last year when in September, they lobbied council to shut the development down.
"It's taking away what Dundas is proud of," said resident Adele Barrett. "We're not opposed to development, but it needs to be a proper density."
Barrett and about a dozen other residents who attended Friday's meeting represent HEARD (Heritage, Escarpment and Responsible Development). She said the development is too dense, and too close to their backyards — the condo building was planned just 4.4 metres from a townhouse development on Brock St.
After Eco Buildings went to the OMB and drew up a new proposal, Powers said the developer solicitor had a friendly meeting with a city solicitor who later decided the new proposal was worth a review. The city's planning committee unanimously voted in late May to consider that new proposal.
HEARD has seen the new proposal too, but isn't legally about to speak about it either, Barrett said.
Powers said process is now in pre-hearings with the OMB, series of moderated, more causal meetings with the parties involved. If all three parties can't come to an agreement, a full-blown OMB hearing will have to take place.
"No one wants that to happen," Powers said. "It'll cost about $250,000 on all sides to take on a full hearing."
Powers said the pre-hearing scheduled in July was cancelled so HEARD could have more time to review the new plans with their lawyer. He expects the next one to take place in September or October. If a full OMB needs to happen, that will be six months to a year after, he said.