Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
April 23, 2024
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News
January 9, 2024
Volume 194 No. 1-2

Jostling for Position

Sterling asks for first right to existing water services in Wellington, offers to enter into the same up-front financing agreement.
<p>Rendering of the Sterling Homes Proposed Development off Wellington Main Street (Photo courtesy Glen Schnarr and Associates)</p>
Rendering of the Sterling Homes Proposed Development off Wellington Main Street (Photo courtesy Glen Schnarr and Associates)

Wellington no longer has just one developer.

Sterling Homes is demanding a seat at the table. Or, to be precise, a place at the pump.

To secure crucial water servicing for its proposed infill development in Wellington, Sterling has offered to enter into the same front-ending agreement the municipality has established with the Kaitlin Group.

It is also asking for priority access to existing water servicing infrastructure, access legally secured to Kaitlin.

As Councillor John Hirsch noted, “yes, a front-ending agreement with Sterling would be great and, in fact, will be the only way their project can proceed. We would not approve any project of that size without a front-end agreement on the DCs.”

“However, to do an agreement, the County must be able to guarantee it can provide water and sewer capacity allocation. Kaitlin has the last of our available allocation locked up legally in the agreement we have with them.”

In a letter sent last month to County Council, Sterling’s lawyers write, “We understand that Kaitlin has now entered into the Front-Ending Agreement with PEC and that, previously, PEC was searching for other developers to participate in the front-ending of water and wastewater services.”

“Sterling Group has reviewed the Front-Ending Agreement and would like to participate in the same agreement for the servicing of the Subject Lands.”

The developer is proposing 253 new houses, a mix of townhomes and single-detached residences, on two adjacent plots of land totalling 7.5 hectares near the center of the village. Access to the neighbourhood would be at 380 Wellington Main Street and off Cleminson Street.

The neighbourhood would feature 29 rear-lane townhouses, 88 back-to-back towns, 102 street-facing towns, 32 detached homes, and a 3- or 4-storey multi-use commercial building.

The medium-density development — 33 units per hectare — is aimed at first-time buyers as well as those downsizing. It would be built into Wellington’s existing streetscape.

Sterling argues that since it would build in the village core, it should share priority for water infrastructure with Kaitlin Group. It cites the Wellington Urban Secondary Plan to make its case. The plan states that development proposed within the existing residential area should take priority over development on the outskirts.

Sterling has applied for re-zoning from Rural 1 to Residential Type 3. The subject lands are already part of the Urban Centre in the County’s Official Plan, and therefore an Official Plan Amendment application is not required.

Sterling stressed that its infrastructure needs are far simpler than those of Kaitlin to argue it should have first access to the last remaining bit of water in Wellington.

“The water and wastewater servicing of the proposed development is simple and an efficient use of existing infrastructure. The Proposed Development (PD) will not require a trunk water main and will not be reliant on the Millennium Trail Sanitary Pumping Station (SPS). The PD can proceed using existing infrastructure, can be serviced through a gravity-fed system, and the equalization tank, which means the PD can proceed in a timely fashion once planning approvals are in place.”

The letter concludes, “Sterling Group is ready and eager to proceed with the Proposed Development in Wellington, Prince Edward County…. but will face immense challenges in doing so without adequate access to water and wastewater servicing capacity.”

The development is attractive both for its smaller, more affordable footprints, and its location, which offers easy access to the Millennium Trail, Main Street, the lake, and the village core.

At a Public Information Centre on a rainy and cold November 29th in Wellington, Jim Levac of Glen Schnarr and Associates Inc., planning consultants to Sterling Homes, presented the development proposal to a very small audience of about 35 people. A statutory public meeting could be held as soon as February, after which staff will bring a recommendation to approve or deny to Council.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 1-2 edition of The Picton Gazette
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