Sarnia council April 15, 2019 Photo by Melanie Irwin

Boushy frustrated proposed subdivision out of bounds

A veteran city councillor is backing a local developer’s request to consider expanding Sarnia’s urban growth boundary in the Bright’s Grove area.

Durco Construction Limited wants the official plan boundary to include its piece of land, to the east of Huron House Boys Home, to allow a new subdivision with about 235 lots.

Councillor Dave Boushy wants the application to go ahead.

“They have been after this for a long, long time… for years… we want growth and development and when something comes along we say ‘we can’t do it!’ What happens if we approve it?” Boushy asked staff.

Director of Community Development Services and Standards Stacey Forfar said there are larger policy issues at play and the city needs to be consistent with the provincial policy statement.

“Right now the provincial policy statement is under review by the province,” said Forfar. “We won’t have any direction until probably the new year, but they may extend your land inventory window from 20 years to 25 years, and if they do that it will force us to take a look at our land budget and say ‘do we need more land within the boundary or not.”

She said those questions will be reviewed through the official plan in the future.

“Doing them one-off is very challenging and very expensive and really the responsibility of land developers, should they want those applications brought forward,” said Forfar.

In addition to being outside the urban boundary, Forfar said the land is in a prime agricultural area of the city, which the province encourages the preservation of.

The current official plan was adopted in 2014 and approved in 2016.