A sustainable, connected and vibrant community addition to the historic town of Perth.
Over the course of the last 15 years, the Western Annex Lands have been the subject of significant planning efforts by the Town of Perth to facilitate residential growth and improve housing supply. On December 21st 2009, the Town of Perth annexed the Perth Golf Course lands from adjacent Tay Valley Township to facilitate future residential development. The subject lands then became known as the Western Annex Lands and have been targeted as the main growth area for the Town.
The Town of Perth appealed the Lanark County May 2013 Official Plan as the Town felt the County had failed to adopt the Town’s vision as a high growth regional centre. The conclusion of the appeal process at the OMB designated a portion of the Western Annex Lands for residential development, with a target population of 8,085 by year 2038 for the Town of Perth.
The Town of Perth Official Plan was revised in 2014 to include the Western Annex Lands within the Town of Perth planning area and proposed corresponding policies to guide residential development of the lands. The revised Official Plan was supported by growth scenarios commissioned by the Town, demonstrating how the Town could grow to a population of 10,500 by 2041.
In 2016, the Town of Perth commissioned an Infrastructure Master Plan to evaluate road, water, sewage and stormwater management alternatives to service the entirety Western Annex Lands.
In 2017, the Town of Perth initiated a major upgrade to its sanitary lagoon system to accommodate a population of 8,100 people in anticipation of development applications for the subject lands. The upgrade was commissioned in late 2018. The Town carries a debt in excess of $5.33 million and requires growth to occur to pay down the debt now being serviced by existing taxpayers in Perth.
Official Plan Amendment No. 16 to the Town of Perth Official plan was also initiated in 2018 to bring the entire Western Annex Lands within the Town of Perth Urban Settlement Boundary, providing the community sufficient lands to accommodate the 2038 planned population of 8,085 and in order to maintain conformance with Provincial Policy.
Finally, the Infrastructure Master Plan – Western Annex in the Town of Perth, first initiated in 2016, was approved in November 2019 following adoption of Official Plan Amendment No. 16 in order to facilitate development of the Western Annex Lands.
Since 2009, the Western Annex Lands represent a concerted effort by the Town of Perth to provide for residential growth and housing supply within the Town. It was for this reason that Caivan had agreed to pursue development options for the site, in full coordination with Town Staff and Council.
Architectural styles being developed for the subject lands will take inspiration from heritage Perth and the design language of eastern Ontario. Materiality will be intentionally procured and woven into built form to allow for a diverse streetscape and sense of place, unique to the lands.
Attention has been given to deep integration with the natural site context and adjacent natural features. This will facilitate a sustainable and connected community that maintains area biodiversity while balancing the need for growth.
The subject lands provide an opportunity to integrate a walkable and connected 15-minute neighborhood. The site will limit walking distances by harnessing a compact residential form and narrow Right of Way width to focus on pedestrians over vehicular movements. Parks, open space, retail and area amenities will all be walkable for new residents.
Extensive investments are being made to enhance, restore and connect the new development area with its surrounding context. This will include the addition of several new large and connect park spaces.
The establishment of a comprehensive trail and cycling network for the Perth development is key to creating a healthy and active community. The active mobility network will comprise sidewalks, pedestrian pathways, multi-use trails, and bike routes.
Read the letter to Mayor Brown.
August 10, 2023 Public Meeting.
Technical studies supporting the development.
October 5, 2023
Mayor Judy Brown Town of Perth 80 Gore St. E Perth, ON K7H 1H9
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Western Annex Lands Application Numbers: 09-T-22001, OPA-01-2023, ZBL-03-2023
Dear Mayor Brown,
A sustainable, strong, and prosperous Town of Perth is one that embraces growth and harnesses the forces of change. While the establishment of new residential neighbourhoods is not to be taken lightly, it is something that Caivan has committed to doing responsibly in each of our communities.
The Perth Annex Lands represent a tremendous opportunity for the County of Lanark to vastly improve its available housing stock, thereby addressing housing affordability and economic health for current and future generations. These lands were annexed into the Town in 2009 as a key growth area in an effort to address current and future local housing requirements. Following the annexation, the Town, in collaboration with the County, amended its official plan to include the Annex Lands within the Town’s urban settlement boundary, with land use designations that encouraged residential applications.
It was for these reasons that Caivan (Perth GC) Ltd. acquired the golf course in 2021, following three (3) rounds of pre-application consultation with Town and County staff as well as local members of Council and a public survey. Our intentions for the development of the property, in keeping with the Town’s own growth objectives and policies, have always been collaborative and, at the initial stages, positively received. Caivan would not have proceeded to acquire the lands had it not been for the shared desire we had with Town staff and Council to proceed with timely intensified residential development in keeping with the historic character of the Town. Larger lot, rural style residential forms are not appropriate for this location in walking distance of the thriving historic main street. The intent of the application, submitted in April 2022, is to develop in a pattern more consistent with the historic grid intensity of the town.
It therefore came as a surprise that, following Caivan’s second Draft Plan of Subdivision submission, the Official Plan Amendment and the Zoning By-law Amendment applications submitted in March 2023, collaborative discussions with County and Town staff ceased and little progress towards realizing the goal of timely residential development has been made. This is not for our lack of desire to resolve issues. It is now clear that the municipal authorities have a limited desire and experience working with Draft Plan of Subdivision applications to bring to resolution any outstanding site-specific development issues previously identified.
Many of the issues raised at the August 10th public session (some of which were not issues but were instead wholly inaccurate statements made by the Town Planner with respect to Caivan’s proposal for the lands) could have been addressed by Caivan and its professional consulting team over the past 16 months had there been a corresponding willingness on the part of municipal staff to work towards a positive outcome. We found this approach to be divisive and unprofessional. Issue resolution is a common step in the approval process whereby additional technical work and discussions take place between the applicant and the municipality to arrive at solutions. Instead, the early commitments made to working collaboratively toward timely development has dissipated, replaced by unilateral staff assertions of issues that are easily addressed if there were still the willingness to collaborate that was shown at the time Caivan made its initial presentations to Council prior to even filing its applications.
The Caivan proposal includes five acres of park space, a multi-use trail system, the retention of extensive natural heritage features including greenspace along the Tay River corridor and the preservation of wetland areas, that all together will serve as a long-term catalyst for the continued vibrancy of the Town well into the future. These are all in keeping with direction provided by the Town as a lead up to the Planning Act submissions. Bringing market housing attainability to the area can only be achieved by promoting density and compact form development, that efficiently utilizes the land, consistent the Provincial and Town policies. With this said, our plan is not final, and we remain open to discussions related to transportation, urban design, climate change resiliency, and housing affordability.
The County and the Town now appear to be of the view that they cannot approve our development applications until a “comprehensive Official Plan review” is completed. This position represents nothing but delay (potentially years), which in the midst of a housing crisis in Ontario, is simply not a supportable process. The planning for growth on the Annex Lands by the County and Town occurred years ago. This good work does not need to be re-done, at significant taxpayer expense, now that the lands are ready for the implementation stage.
Based on lack of meaningful dialogue and an absence of desire to resolve issues at a staff level, Caivan has appealed its Plan of Subdivision to the Ontario Land Tribunal. Given what we witnessed during the August 10 public session, we have appealed the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment applications to the Ontario Land Tribunal as well. We are very disappointed that it has reached this point and that the Town’s Director of Development Services (Town Planner) has decided to intentionally divide us from the community.
Our team is committed to moving this matter forward in a manner that is respectful of the Provincial directives for growth, respectful of the County and the Town’s planned objectives for this area and respectful of the greater public interest in addressing the current housing crisis. We believe our proposal represents an efficient and environmentally responsible design and provides housing (inclusive of affordable/attainable housing) where it is needed in our communities. We would be pleased to review the facts, analyses, reports, and work that has gone into our proposal with any interested members of the public and we remain open to collaboration with the municipal authorities at the County and the Town. Above all, we remain committed to the realization of good planning and timely development for the Annexed Lands in Perth.
Attachment: Fact Summary Sheet
Cc: Deputy Mayor Ed McPherson Councillor David Bird
Councillor Jim Boldt Councillor Isabel Anne McRae Councillor Barry Smith Councillor Gary Waterfield