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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Del Duca property plans go before Tecumseh Council

by Sylene Argent

During a special meeting hosted last Tuesday evening, Tecumseh Council was updated on the results of the Open House that was hosted at the Ciociaro Club on the evening of Monday, April 29 regarding the Del Duca Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendments.

  During this public meeting, Tecumseh Council was able to hear public and agency comments regarding the alternative land use plan.

  Councillor Andrew Dowie said for the most part, feedback was supportive and positive about the new plan for this parcel that, at one time, created some contention within the Oldcastle community.

  In January of 2008, after a three-day hearing, the Ontario Municipal Board found the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment for the proposed industrial plan for Oldcastle, at an around 50-acre agricultural property located at the 8th Concession and North Talbot Road, were not consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement that development sustain healthy, liveable, and resilient communities.

  The order, at the time, was withheld for one year, allowing for appeal.   

  Around 80 individuals attended the recent Open House, including Vincenzo Del Duca, one of three brothers who owns the parcel of land. He said the landowners had sat down with the residents of Oldcastle, the appellants of the previous plan, and hired a planner they used, to work out their vision was and why sine the OMB hearing.

  Residents of Oldcastle appealed the passing of the OPA and ZBA to the Ontario Municipal Board. The Town of Tecumseh passed the OPA and ZBA, and the County, the approval authority for the Town, approved the OPA.

  At the Open House, Del Duca explained the new plan for the land includes a commercial block that is estimated to hold four to six stores or services at the southwester corner of the property, a limited area for estate-style housing, a subdivision that could include standard lot sizes and townhomes, and a storm retention pond that he said will be able to handle two back-to-back 100-year storms.

  The design also includes a 2.5-km multi-use trail that extends around the perimeter of the property that would lead to Weston Park. A space in the design is also reserved for retirement living.

  The buffer strip is planned to be 30-meters wide and extends from the commercial block, creating a barrier between the industrial area to the west and the proposed residential area to the east. There was a bit of an issue planning the buffer in the proposed plan for the land, Del Duca said at the Open House. The buffer includes a 14-meter berm and a 13-meter drainage corridor.

  Of the twelve letters submitted to the Town of Tecumseh on this matter for the meeting, 11 registered support for the alternative land use plan, and also may have shared additional ideas or concerns of things to consider, such as traffic volume.

  Other comments the Town received, Dowie said, included the desire for a lower density residential area.

  Dowie said he believes the alternate plan is the best possible outcome and was pleased to see a resolution start to come to fruition.

  A final report will be provided to Tecumseh Council to summarize the comments/issues raised through the public consultation process and a recommendation with regard to the proposed alternative land use plan and the implementing Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment. Council will then make a decision on the matter in the near future.

  If Council supports an alternative land use plan, the Town’s Legal Counsel would then reach out to the OMB to provide an update and request its direction on obtaining OMB approval, the Report to Council on the matter notes.

  Tecumseh Council received the report presented at the meeting.

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