Owen Sound city hall. DENIS LANGLOIS/THE SUN TIMES
Redhawk Construction’s plan to build a 366-unit subdivision with single-family homes, townhouses and apartment buildings across from the Owen Sound hospital has taken a big step forward.City council conditionally approved Monday night a trio of planning applications from the Brampton-based company to permit the large-scale development, the plans of which were first provided to city hall in 2015.“It’s great to see something finally happening in this area” of the city, Coun. Richard Thomas said during the council meeting.“I was working in the media 30 years ago when the city annexed that land for future development. So I’m happy to have survived long enough to see something actually going to happen up there.”The 62-acre property where Redhawk is planning to build its subdivision is within the Sydenham Heights planning area, which became part of the city in 1987 with the vision that it would become the new “growth area” for Owen Sound.The area, which is next to and across the street from Grey Bruce Health Services, has remained largely vacant over the years because it was, until recently, beyond the reach of municipal water and sewer services.To spur development in that area, council decided to front-end the $3.5-million cost to extend those pipes into Sydenham Heights. That work wrapped up last year and the city is planning to recoup the cost through area-specific development fees.Officials with both Redhawk Construction and Bremont Homes, which is planning to build a 338-unit subdivision on vacant land adjacent to the Owen Sound hospital, have told The Sun Times that the water/sewer extension project was key to their projects proceeding.Redhawk Construction, part of Rice Development Corp., purchased their property in Owen Sound in 2007 and submitted preliminary plans to city hall for its development eight years later.At Monday’s meeting, council conditionally approved a draft plan of subdivision for the project and directed staff to bring forward bylaws to adopt official plan and zoning bylaw amendments to permit the development.The property is currently designated as residential and hazard in the city’s official plan and rural and hazard in its zoning bylaw.Redhawk applied to redesignate part of the land from residential low density to residential medium density and another section from residential medium density to residential high density to all for the apartments. The zoning amendments seek new classifications to permit different types of residential housing.Community planner Amy Cann told council the bylaws will likely be on the council agenda for its July 15 meeting.Once an appeals period is over and the developer achieves all of the conditions, council will be able to grant final subdivision approval and consider endorsing a site plan for the project, she said.“And then phased build-out of the lands” would follow, Cann said.Officials with Redhawk Construction could not be reached for comment Wednesday and did not attend Monday’s meeting.The company is planning to build three multistorey apartment buildings, with a combined 264 units, along with 54 condominium townhouse units, 36 single-family homes and 12 street-fronting townhouse units.The 54 condo townhouses are to be built during Phase 1, according to a concept plan, while two of the apartment buildings are to be constructed as part of Phase 2.The third apartment building, along with 14 single-family homes and some of the townhouses are to be added during Phase 3, while the rest of the homes would be constructed as part of Phase 4.