The applicant continues to believe that the proposed application is consistent with the PPS, 1997. The Planning Division does not dispute this opinion.
Environmental Impact Study (EIS)
Mosquito Creek has been identified as an area of fish habitat. An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) was prepared in 2005 by a qualified consultant in accordance with the policies of Section 2.3 and 14.7 of the Official Plan. The EIS notes that the adjacent golf course is immediately downstream and is a net consumer of runoff from the subject property. Given that the golf course employs a series of retention ponds, it is highly unlikely that lot drainage from the proposed development will impact Mosquito Creek. The EIS recommends that the flood plain should remain in its natural state. The EIS notes that nitrification can be mitigated with appropriately designed and installed Class 4 septic systems, a pre and post development storm water plan to attenuate flows and minimize sedimentation and erosion , and downstream consumptive use by the adjacent golf course.
The EIS recommends that road signage be installed to alert drivers along Mountain Road about wildlife that may be displaced by the proposed development. The EIS indicates that fish habitat downstream is a warm water fishery and suggests that retaining the flood lands adjacent to Mosquito creek in a natural state will help maintain fishery values existing presently.
Environmental Impact Study (EIS) – Peregrine Falcon Habitat
A second EIS was prepared with a specific focus on the identified peregrine falcon habitat in the area. This EIS concluded that the proposed development will likely have little or no effect on the breeding pair of Peregrine Falcon, or the surrounding habitat that they utilize within one kilometre of the project site.
The Peregrines and/or their habitat area is most sensitive during the critical breeding period, which takes place between mid to late March through August annually. To minimize any potential effects the report recommends the following mitigation measures:
· Any road construction within the project area must be conducted between August 30 and March 1;
· Any occupancy or utilisation of lands within 250 metres of the cliff face of Mount McRae must be non-structural and must protect the natural vegetation in this area; and
· Any construction or site alteration between 250 and 260 metres of the face of Mount McRae must be between August 30 and March 1;
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) have reviewed this EIS and based on the information provided and mitigation proposed, the project is not expected to contravene the species protection and habitat protection sections of the Endangered Species Act with respect to Peregrine Falcons. The MNR accepts the mitigation measures contained in the EIS, but notes that the breeding dates provided are guidelines and that annual consultation with the MNR is required to put a finer point on when activities can commence on the site. Further, they require that lot owners should be informed by the developer that the subdivision is located within Peregrine Falcon Habitat, which is protected by the Endangered Species Act.
It is therefore recommended that the following conditions be imposed as a condition of Draft Plan Approval:
That the Subdivision Agreement between the City and the owner contain a provision wherein the owner agrees to include in all offers of purchase and sale the following notices:
· For all lots, notice that the area of the subdivision is located within a peregrine Falcon Habitat, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act.
· For Lots 12, 13, and 14, notice that the portions of the lots within 250 metres of the cliff face of Mount McRae, that no buildings, structures, or removal of vegetation is permitted.
· For Lots 12, 13, and 14, notice that the portion of the lots within 250 and 260 metres of the cliff face of Mount McRae, that no construction is permitted between March 1 and August 30.
· For all lots, that prior to the issuance of any building permit confirmation be received from the Ministry of Natural Resources that construction may proceed in compliance with the species protection and habitat protection sections of the Endangered Species Act.
Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Each lot in the proposed development will be serviced by individual private septic systems which is typical of development in this area. As part of the previous re-rezoning in 2005, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) stated they had no objection in principle; however, as with similar applications, the agency objects to any development on partial servicing. The TBDHU has indicated that test pits and a soils report are required before comments can be submitted. The TBDHU, as a result of the Public Meeting Notice, submitted comments that they require a detailed soils study and PPS justification. The TBDHU has been
provided with a copy of the Hydrogeological Report prepared by True Grit Consulting Ltd, the Servicing Options Report prepared by Menic Planning Services Inc., and the applicant's PPS justification.
It is recommended that as a condition of Draft Plan Approval the applicant be required to prepare a soils analysis to the satisfaction of the Health Unit.
Record of Site Condition
Over the years, a significant amount of fill has been brought onto the site. In accordance with the policies of Section 12 of the Official Plan, an Environmental Site Assessment and Record of Site Condition were completed. The RSC was reviewed and accepted by the Ministry of the Environment.
Lot Inventory Report
The recent 2011 Lot Inventory recognizes that there is a sufficient supply of vacant lots in the suburban area. However, as noted in the Inventory Report, the majority of lots available exist primarily in the Mount Forest area. Given that development at Foxborough Greens is nearly complete it is reasonable to deduce that market demand exists for lots in this area.
Adjacent Landlocked Parcel
There is a landlocked parcel of land at the south limit of the applicant's property that currently has a right of way for access across the subject lands. The applicant has recognized this right of way in the proposed plan by including it as a proposed 5.0 metre right of way on Lot 12. While giving unimpeded access, this right of way could not constitute sufficient frontage in the Zoning By-law for development.
The Notice of Application for this Draft Plan of Subdivision was given on August 24, 2009, as prescribed by Section 51(20)(a) of the Planning Act. The proposed plan was circulated to the required agencies and the comments received and the agency requirements are summarized in Appendix "A" to this Report.
The following civic departments and outside agencies reviewed the proposed plan and offered no objections:
Thunder Bay Fire & Rescue Services Division
Thunder Bay Hydro
Ontario Power Generation
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, and Forestry
Lakehead District School Board
Union Gas Ltd.
Realty Services Division
The applicant must enter into a subdivision agreement to ensure services are installed to Engineering Division standards. In addition, the applicant will have to comply with the Engineering Division development Requirements for a Suburban Subdivision and Division's Development Requirements for On-Site Sub-Surface Sewage Disposal Systems.
The Engineering Division also makes the following comments:
1. The watermain will need to be a single feed supply instead of a looped system. The design of the water system will need to reflect the additional maintenance requirements for flushing and maintaining residual chlorine in the water supply.
2. Notwithstanding the Road standards discussed in the Suburban Subdivision Requirements, the pavement design for this subdivision must be based on a site-specific geotechnical investigation due to the potential increase in freeze-thaw impacts as a result of addition single serviced lots and must meet the following design criteria as detailed in the City of Thunder Bay's Engineering and Development Standards:
3. The storm water system required for this development will discharge to an existing stream and drainage will exist through neighbouring properties not owned by the developer. Easements for drainage will be required within the development to allow for maintenance. In addition, the Storm Water Management report will need to assess whether downstream facilities will be able to handle the major storm drainage overland flow from the development
- Section 2.4.6 Pavement Construction
- All roadways shall be designed to satisfy the following minimum performance standards:
- Pavement Curbs, sewer manholes, catch basins shall not be subject to cumulative damage from movement due to frost action
- During the first three years of service any cracking of the pavement shall be minimal and shall be required by the developer in accordance with the City's Pavement Management System Guidelines
- The pavement shall not require resurfacing for at least 15 years
- All pavement shall be warranted by the developer for a minimum period of two years from the date of installation of the second lift
Design briefs will be required for the water supply, road design and sewage disposal as well as a lot grading and drainage plan and erosion and sedimentation control plan. These issues will be dealt with during the final approval process.
The Engineering Division has reviewed a traffic impact study, dated March 2007, submitted by the applicant and finds it acceptable. Due to neighbourhood concerns, the applicant commissioned a supplemental study for pedestrian/cyclist activity in August 2011. The supplemental study concluded that the proposed development will have a negligible impact on the operation of Mountain Road.
The Parks Division has no objections. The parkland dedication, Blocks 30 and 31, is acceptable to the Parks Division. The planting of boulevard trees, will be a requirement of final approval of the plan of subdivision. A local trail within Blocks 30 and 31 is a possibility, and notice should be provided to prospective purchasers of Lots 6, 7, 20, and 21. It is therefore recommended that the Subdivision Agreement between the City and the owner contain a provision wherein the owner agrees to include in all offers of purchase and sale, notice to prospective purchasers of Lots 6, 7, 20, and 21 that a local trail within Blocks 30 and 31 is a possibility.
Ministry of Transportation
The Ministry has no comments on the proposed subdivision development as the subject property is not located adjacent to a Provincial Highway. The Ministry was provided with copies of the traffic studies conducted.
Ministry of Culture
The applicant's property is in an area of high archaeological potential. This potential is based on the presence of a significant archaeological discovery on an adjacent property, and the presence of a series of landforms that signal potential. The applicant conducted a Stage 2 Archaeological Assessment, dated August 13, 2007, in support of the previous application for a vacant land condominium. The Assessment concluded that no additional archaeological work is required.
The Ministry reviewed the Assessment, concurs with its recommendations, and has no concerns with the application. The Ministry requires two conditions of draft plan approval to fulfil the applicant's obligations under the Ontario Heritage Act and/or the Cemeteries Act. These conditions would require the developer to stop operations and contact the Police, the Ministry of Culture, and the Registrar of Cemeteries should cultural heritage values and/or human remains be discovered during construction. It is therefore recommended that draft plan approval include the requested conditions.
Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA)
The LRCA has reviewed the proposed plan as it relates to flooding erosion and fisheries habitat.
The LRCA advises that proposed Lots 6, 7, 20, and 21 are affected by the LRCA's Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alteration to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulations. The LRCA requires that a permit be obtained from the Authority for development of the proposed road construction and water crossing. In addition, potential purchasers of Lots 6, 7, 20, and 21 should be informed of the regulated area on the Lots and that a permit from the Authority may be required prior to construction. Also, potential purchasers of Lots 13 and 14 should be informed that the Lots contain a portion of the talus slope of Mount McRae. It is recommended that as a condition of final approval the applicant receive a permit from the LRCA for the road construction and water crossing.
In addition, the Planning Division recommends that the Subdivision Agreement between the City and the owner contain a provision wherein the owner agrees to include in all offers of purchase and sale:
- notice to prospective purchasers of Lots 6, 7, 20, and 21 that a permit from the Authority may be require prior to construction and
- notice to prospective purchasers for Lots 13 and 14 that the lots contain a portion of the talus slope of Mount McRae and that a permit from the Authority may be require prior to construction.
The LRCA notes that all other lots appear to be developable without encroaching into the Regulated Area.
Canada Post requires that notice be given to inform all prospective purchasers, through a clause in all agreements of purchase and sale that Lot 24 is identified for the location of a Community Mailbox. In addition, the developer is required to provide curb depressions at the Community Mailbox location. It is recommended that the request from Canada Post be a condition for final plan approval of the Subdivision.