Ontario Land Tribunal approves housing development in Preston

A development at 157 Tiffany St. in the Preston area of Cambridge has been approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).

The proposed development would create three street-facing two storey townhouses on a 470.9 metre lot, with a driveway, garage and rear yard for each.

The decision from January 23 approved the by-law amendment to allow 65 units per hectare, compared to the 40 units per hectare.

Ward 3 councillor Corey Kimpson said she is not happy with the approval because it removed council’s ability to “have input on the decision.”

“Whether the developer likes the decision or not, they have the right to appeal it even at that time,” said Kimpson. “But we still lost the ability to represent our community and to have input into the decision.”

A public meeting in February 2023 was held for the development, where some residents and members of council expressed concerns for the project. Kimpson said following that meeting, a staff recommendation report never came back to council.

The developer filed an appeal in April 2023 and had a hearing in October.

Kimpson said there is not much time for council to make a decision on a development once the planning application is complete. According to the Ontario Planning Act, city council have 120 days for official plans and official plan amendments, 90 days for zoning by-law amendments, 120 days for plans of subdivision, and 90 days for land severances.

“We have now asked staff to let us know when something comes to us, that they say when the application was deemed complete and when a decision has to be made,” said Kimpson.

“If we know we only have an X number of days before we have to make a decision…. that may cut into our ability to have public consultation or ask for additional information.”

The original property was a single family home turned into a duplex, with the land severed to create a lot for the three townhouses.

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