This summer, Cumberland’s council spent a couple of hours poring over the latest plans for the Coal Valley Estates development.
Facing too many questions, the developer suggested sticking with its existing comprehensive development area plan for now.
Since, the developer provided responses to questions following council’s committee of the whole meeting in July. Now, Coal Valley has again made a couple of development permit requests of the village at the latest council meeting on Dec. 14. One was for an environmental protection permit; the other was for a wildfire urban interface development permit. The latest plans cover phases 10 and 11 of the residential area, which would be build out from the existing development northwest of the village core.
Part of the request covers proposed blasting work, while part is for filling in other areas, ultimately to create more sites on which to build.
“Essentially, the effect is a levelling,” senior planner Karin Albert said.
Once again, council has many questions. The request had been for council to send the development permit request to the village’s advisory planning commission (APC) for comment, but members of council felt there were too many outstanding issues. They passed a motion to get more information from the proponent first before sending a request to the APC.
“I really don’t want to see this come forward again without all our questions being answered,” Mayor Leslie Baird said.
Council members Jesse Ketler and Vickey Brown each raised a lengthy list of questions surrounding the planned work, which the mayor asked be submitted to staff.
Ketler cited a number of outstanding matters, including questions around or changes to plans for a gated community, traffic management, a lack of mapping for trails and plans for a park at the historic Fan House, among other things. Among the most pressing questions was the effect the work could have on species habitat.
“We still don’t know what we’re approving,” she said. “We don’t even know what the park looks like.”
Brown too mentioned many issues, including a need for hydrological studies and geologic studies, particularly looking at the stability of a ravine. She also touched on plans to straighten the road, adding the village needs to avoid the same issues that have arisen on nearby Kendal Avenue.
“I agree with Coun. Ketler. This is just not ready to go the APC,” she said.
Council members Gwyn Sproule and Sean Sullivan, too, brought up questions about the plans at this point. Sproule referred to the park plans and brought up questions around stormwater flows. Sullivan also said the village needs more details, adding that since the long-term project started many years earlier, council and its priorities have evolved.
“The developer has to do a better job of changing with us,” he said.