Wingham-area Hutton Heights development to include over 100 units
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Hutton Heights development has more direction after North Huron Council decided on a tentative layout and servicing plan for the municipally-funded residential development on Monday night.
Hutton Heights, a development area just southwest of the intersection of County Roads 4 and 86, remains a high-priority project for North Huron Township Council as a means of creating homes.
After the presentation of a report from engineering firm BM Ross, North Huron Township Council voted to pursue an option that would see the municipally-owned property subdivided to create 103 units of varying densities, the maximum amount proposed by the firm.
The layout included 30 single family homes, 14-semi-detached properties, three triplexes and nine quadruplexes, as well as 892 metres of road.
As part of the presentation, BM Ross representatives also proposed potential sites for water and sanitary servicing infrastructure and stormwater management.
The “external cost”, or the cost to get the servicing to the to-be-developed lands, would exceed $5 million, according to the presentation. The “internal costs” for the development, or the cost to service each property from the main infrastructure, would cost approximately $33,000 per lot for the servicing to the created properties (nearly $3.3 million).
The next steps for the project include preparing a draft plan of subdivision and application for submission to the county, which would be followed by months of engineering and tender processes with construction possible in the spring of 2022 according to BM Ross staff estimates.
As part of the process, BM Ross representatives suggested that council consult with other property owners who may benefit from the services being run, such as the existing developed properties in the area and other developable parcels. Reeve Bernie Bailey agreed, saying that he had discussed the issue with some property owners who were excited council is moving forward with the development.
Deputy-Reeve Trevor Seip asked where the $5 million for the project would come from and while Bailey said it could be paid for through the sale of the lands, BM Ross staff said Bailey’s take wasn’t entirely accurate as the $5 million only covered the municipal infrastructure and not what it would cost to connect each property.
Director of Finance Donna White said that the municipality could easily get half the funds through a loan from either CIBC or Infrastructure Canada, with the latter offering a very low interest rate, but being designed as a long-term loan. The CIBC offer had a higher interest rate, but was considered a bridge loan, which would only be used for what was necessary and could be paid back more freely.
Council decided to go ahead with the recommended option presented by BM Ross with Bailey lauding the move as great for the ratepayers of North Huron.
“Can you imagine North Huron running pipes into North Huron,” he said. “We’re not running them outside so someone else has the tax benefit.”
Bailey went on to say that it was “amazing” what North Huron could do by focusing inward, then requested a recorded vote on the matter with everyone voting to go ahead.