The process that would permit a development of 136 homes, a mix of single-family homes on 40-foot-wide lots and smaller townhouse lots, on a 24-acre property in Beeton on the south side of Main Street West, west of the United Cemetery and South Simcoe Rail line, is a big step closer to reality after clearing a number of hurdles.
The community planned by Flato Developments has been in the planning stage for more than two years but has been subjected to scrutiny as local residents and New Tecumseth council, cautious of how new developments will impact their community, have demanded extensive study before approval.
But with more than 10 studies including traffic, noise and environmental impact as well geotechnical, concerning elements in the ground that may be disturbed, archaeological and stormwater management done and supporting the project, the shovels could shortly be in the dirt.
Noting that the proposed development falls within the boundaries of the acceptable town, county and provincial development rules, a development team, including representatives from C.F. Crozier Engineers and MHBC, outlined what has been done to address concerns, the biggest being stormwater management.
The issue of stormwater flooding has imposed itself time and time again on the township, both in rural areas where flooding has destroyed crops, and in urban areas, like Beeton, where residents have found their main streets turned into muddy rivers after downpours. Global warming is often pointed to as the likely cause of more frequent flooding but some have also blamed poor planning and developments for compounding the issue by redirecting natural flows towards an already over-burdened Hendrie drain pipe that runs through town. It was also the focus of questioning at a recent public meeting that allowed public and council input.
Flato contends it will not be part of the problem but be a part of a solution to flooding woes when it gets the go-ahead.
“Any development coming forward, it has to focus on drainage,” Deputy Mayor Richard Norcross said, confirming the need for some assistance with flooding.
Although it will be connected to municipal services, the development allows for a drainage system that will not only handle any water from the site but will also feature a large culvert through the development that will hopefully redirect runoff from other parts of the Beeton settlement area away from the drain and into the Beeton Creek, west of town.
Britany Robertson, an associate with Crozier, says “there are about 100 hectares (of drainage) directed to that channel (Hendrie drain) so over fifty-per cent of that is being accounted for as part of this diversion.”
“So, what you’re saying is that half of (what goes through the Hendrie drain) will be directed outside of Beeton and not going through the town anymore,” confirmed Norcross.
That scenario would, no doubt, be welcome by residents who have no interest in experiencing a repeat of 2017s mud river down Main Street and local businesses could look towards an influx of revenue from new residents to the area instead of the costs to repair flood damage.
While environmental management was the pressing concern of the public meeting, township planners and Flato representatives pledged to continue to work though remaining planning details and required reports and present a final report for council to confirm go-ahead in the near future. Hopefully, before the next major flood event.