By Chris Pickup

Local uproar in February about the Caledonia Beattie Estates development forced council to send the whole project back to the drawing board. 

Many issues were raised back then, however the proposed ring road to encourage traffic flow down to Argyle Street South and thence to the bypass was the main source of anger. Several properties were threatened with expropriation, including a farmer who stood to lose a tenth of his property.

A new and improved plan came before council in committee, Tuesday, which, while still separate projects, treats McKenzie Meadows and Beattie estates as one unit when designing access roads.

The first phase of the Beattie development will now comprise 50 homes which can be serviced with existing infrastructure, instead of the initially suggested 177 homes.

The main issue of the ring road (route B) was solved by moving it north into the urban boundary to be included wholly within the development, and off already developed lands. It will run east-west, with a row of homes to the south. Access from the south will be from individual driveways while access from the north will be via roadways.

Several other changes were made to the first phase design, including creation of a new McKenzie road access at the south end, and elimination of the main centralized McKenzie road access.

The stormwater management pond facility will be shifted north to facilitate culverts/road crossing and various streets and intersections will be realigned, with a future east end connection near the woodlot.

Councillor Bartlett wanted to know why the county was “paying for someone’s project”, i.e. the ring road.

Planner Mike Evers, again, pointed out the road system is for more than just the Beattie project.  “This has triggered it,” he said, “but it services current and potential future projects”. The costs will be recovered through development charges as future projects proceed.

A resident asked about the current pond which collects stormwater from houses to the east and west. He said it has not been taken care of, is in very poor condition and barely works. It outlets to the water course and he feels it will fail in a hundred year storm.

Evers promised to have staff investigate to see if there is a problem and

noted a detailed stormwater management design has to take place before any new builds.

In answer to questions about the timeline for phase one to commence, no-one really seems to know. The consultant noted the focus at present is on McKenzie Meadows before anything happens at Beattie.

Councillor Grice guesstimated “a year to ever say Hi to a house on the west side, and likely two years at best before we move to the east side”, while Evers felt it would take more time than that.

“This is a demonstration plan. As years go by we could be dealing with a change to the plan and possible market changes” in real estate, Evers noted.