There has been a lot of commenting on a Facebook post regarding the Notice of Complete Application for the old Giles Car Dealership site at 9th and Main St. The application is probably less than you think. It’s only an application that has just been submitted. It has not been before the public in a Public Meeting, nor council at any time. I think it’s important to inform residents about the process for an application to be deemed complete and what that ultimately means.
Any land owner can apply to do almost anything on their property. There are some obvious “guard rails” that they must live within. The guard rails are the Towns Official Plan and Zoning bylaws. Every property in Whitchurch-Stouffville has a designation in the OP and Zoning By-law.
If an applicants vision does not fit within the OP or the Zoning bylaws, an application for an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment are required.
Requirements for complete application(s) are determined on the basis of the uniqueness of each development proposal. Prior to submitting any Planning application, applicants are required to complete a pre-consultation application with the Town. Through the pre-consultation application process, preliminary proposals are reviewed by Town department staff as well as external agencies, comments are provided and requirements to submit complete applications are established. As each project is unique, requirements vary from project to project and are therefore selected from the list below, accordingly. Here is the list of studies or reports that could be required for submitting a complete application and for the application to be deemed complete by staff prior to review and processing of the application.
Preliminary Building Design OBC Matrix
Landscape Plan & Details
Landscape Cost Estimates
Engineering Cost Estimates
Site Servicing Plan
Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
Lighting Cost Estimates
Stormwater Management Report
Slope Stability Study
Functional Servicing Report
Hydraulic Analysis for Floodplain Delineation
Operation Maintenance Report
Construction Management Plan
Noise Impact Study
Air Quality Impact Study
Soil Quality Study
Railway Corridor Safety Study
Traffic Impact Analysis
Waste Management Plan
Site Servicing Plan
MOECC Form 1
Tree Preservation, Protection and Removal Plan
Tree Canopy Loss/Enhancement Within the Town
Draft of OPA / ZBA
Planning Justification Report
Sustainable Development Report
Land Use Compatibility Study
Urban Design Brief
Retail Impact Study
Parking Standard Analysis/Justification
Matrix of Responses to the comments provided in earlier submission
Environmental Site Assessment
Record of Site Condition
Natural Heritage Evaluation (Required on lands within 90 m within an ENV zone)
Hydrological Evaluation (Required on lands within 90 m within a FH zone)
Oak Ridges Moraine Conformity Statement / Report
Minimum Distance of Separation (OMAFRA)
Nutrient Management Plan (OMAFRA)
Watershed & Sub-watershed Study
Water Analysis Report
Dust/Odour Control Study
Agricultural Impact Evaluation
Environmental Impact Study
(Required on lands within areas of Greenlands System)
Contamination Management Plan
(Required for lands within a Highly Vulnerable Aquifer as deemed necessary by the Town)
Water Balance Assessment
(Required for proposal considered major development under Source Protection Plan)
Section 59 Notice
(Required for ICI, farm structure, residential fuel oil storage proposal in Wellhead Protection Areas
Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment
Architectural Control Guidelines
Compliance Certificate from Control Architect
Rental Housing Conversion Study
Analysis of and Impact Mitigation to Views and Vistas from the ORM Ridgeline
Archaeological Resource Assessment
Deeming the Application complete or incomplete is the first step required by the Planning Act, before initiating the processing of application. If an application is deemed complete, the planning process then begins. Below is an infographic which explains the standard planning process for an OPA/ZBA.
So for the Giles site example that has received a lot of attention, you can see there is a long process for an applicant to go through before a public meeting or Council decision is ultimately rendered.
Residents are of course entitled to an opinion on any development proposal, the built form and plans that have been submitted to the Town. Equally so, the land owner, who has a vision for their property is entitled as well. But ultimately, at the Public Planning Meeting stage, the public should come to the meeting or submit written comments and get their opinions on the record, in support or against. After that meeting, a council report will be written by staff with a recommendation for consideration.
So yes, the notification boards can certainly cause concern when there is a major deviation from the Towns OP but that in no way means anything is un fait accompli.