Developer accuses city staff of ignoring council direction 0
The planned future site of Wal-Mart in Lindsay. JASON BAIN/The Lindsay Post Files
Former mayor and developer Martyn Stollar has accused City of Kawartha Lakes staff of ignoring a council direction back in 2007 to adopt design standards for subdivisions and site plan developments.
In a letter tabled at today's (July 10) meeting. Stollar said council passed a resolution on the matter five years ago. He said he notified council in March of 2011 that none of the steps had been taken and shortly after council reminded staff to follow through with a three-month deadline.
“Suffice it to say that some 15 months have passed since council directed that this 'be completed and be brought back to council within three months',” Stollar said.
“More to the point, it is now fully 60 months since engineering staff first adopted the pretense (albeit only, it seems, when it suits them to do so) that the draft document that was slapped together in July of 2007 is to be treated as constituting the city's official 'subdivision design standards'.”
Stollar goes on to say senior staff prefer the standards not be adopted by council “insofar as this affords them the latitude to apply them in a highly selective fashion (i.e. by applying them to some developments but not to others – or, rather, by applying them to some developers but not to others). Insofar as they appear to happily embrace the power thereby accorded to them (i.e. enabling them to accord favours on some developers, while imposing impossible standards on others') there is every indication that this “limbo” status is one that actually suits them quite well,” Stollar claims.
In another letter tabled at the meeting, Stollar takes exception to Mayor Ric McGee's comments that the Northwest Trunk Project is “the biggest project” the city has ever undertaken and one that had been on the books for 30 years.
Stollar said costs “continue to spin out of control” and McGee has adopted new “tropes . . . to distract attention from this 'evolving fiscal tsunami'. He said he cannot understand the pride with which the project is referred to as the largest in city's history.
“It wasn't supposed to have been, of course,” Stollar said. He said cost estimates began at $5.2 million back in 2009 and have grown to $15.7 million “with a number of major unknowns still hanging in the balance.”
“What I'm not clear on, of course, is why this would be regarded as a point of pride. Presumably even greater pride will be in order when the cost hits the $20 million mark.”
He added the mayor's 30 year claim is an “outright misrepresentation . . . the project has not been on the books for 30 years, in fact proceeding with actual construction was not even a theoretical option until 2003.” For example, he said it could not be done without the twinning of the existing forece main at the Lindsay St. N pumping station.
In yet another letter, Stollar says it will require more than the completion of the Northwest Trunk to open up lands for development. He said storm-water management and mitigation issues are “every bit as much a limiting condition on development in large swaths of this area as has been the lack of sanitary servicing. To date, however this appears to have been ignored.”
He referenced works that have to be done to comply with a decision to allow the Humane Society of Kawartha Lakes to build in a flood plain. He noted Mason and part of Orsi-owned land is prone to flooding according to the Greck Report. He said the council-owned Denfield Road property and the airport are also on flood- plain.
“Rather than allowing itself to remain in the dark, I would urge council to direct that the Greck Report be circulated and that a special council meeting be convened to which Mr. Greck would be invited. As well, given its importance, I would ask that council direct that the Greck Report itself be posted on the city's website.”