VanDyk’s Site Plan up for re-Approval

Cobourg Council had a meeting on Tuesday to get public input on an application for site plan approval by Vandyk – West Park Village Ltd. for their property adjacent to Canadian Tire and between Elgin West and Carlisle.  The project for 62 Townhomes and 10 semi-detached homes started in 2014 but died after getting site plan approval – which has now expired.  But in the spring of 2018, Council gave pre-servicing approval (see link below) to construct the underground infrastructure and rough grading on the site and this has now been 90% completed. Homes were sold and it looked like the project was going ahead.  But now VanDyk is back seeking a fresh site plan approval with the original design.  But as Councillor Chorley pointed out, there is now a different Council. Surprise! VanDyk has no intention of going ahead with building the 72 homes themselves – instead they would pass the project to “a reputable builder”.

VanDyk - proposed homes
VanDyk – proposed homes

In the meantime, local residents are concerned with a traffic issue.  The development has only one exit and that’s to Carlisle Street although it does have provision for emergency access by emergency vehicles onto Elgin.  But Elgin is a County road and they will not approve this being extended to regular traffic. Nearby residents say that the traffic from these 72 residences would be too much for Carlisle – contradicting reports by traffic engineers.  One citizen said that maybe 25 homes would be OK.

The development also includes a commercial strip plaza on Elgin but this would have only right-in and right-out access to Elgin.  Canadian Tire have also said they will not allow access for the housing development traffic onto their road which exits to Elgin.

Deputy Mayor expressed a concern: given the history of the project, what guarantee is there that this project will ever happen?

Four local residents spoke in opposition to the project and none supported it.

Linda Wittenbols said she had a petition objecting to the development and everyone she asked, signed.

Jackie asked “Who’s going to be responsible for the first child or senior who gets killed?”

The implication of what was said by staff at the meeting is that it’s unlikely that the design will get changed since it originally met all requirements and nothing has changed except perhaps traffic. County and third party Traffic Engineering reports said that there were no concerns with Traffic in the development. In response to a question, Glenn McGlashon said that the Traffic reports were recent, they were submitted in June 2020.

Glenn said that he would be reviewing the concerns and bring a report back to Council.


Print Article: 


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 October 2020 11:49 am

The development seems worthwhile pursuing however “how you achieve the result matters.” There doesn’t seem to be much critical thinking going into these developments from the Town’s perspective. There is a lack of infrastructure forethought. There is certainly a lack of thought and/or understanding of traffic flow and traffic control. Look at the vehicular and pedestrian traffic mess surrounding CCI and CR Gummow schools on a regular morning – the previous Mayor completely denied there was any issue at at. This development appears to be no different. McGlashon needs to strike a better balance between the development dollars he so desperately wants to collect for the Town and ensuring he isn’t creating unanticipated consequences through his shortsightedness.

3 October 2020 12:14 pm

Yawn, NIMBY’s making up imaginary traffic issues. The sky is also blue.

Love the line by Jackie.. “Who’s going to be responsible for the first child or senior who gets killed?”… Perhaps someone will get killed by traffic leaving her residence. Who’s responsible for that? Her? The town? It used to be a farm field, what made her house so important?

Merle Gingrich
3 October 2020 8:29 am

Just think about the tax dollars that the town will lose if this doesn’t go through. Keep after our beaurocrats .

Reply to  Merle Gingrich
3 October 2020 9:12 am

Does anyone understand the Time is Money Concept when it comes to construction
does anyone know why its taken nearly 4 yrs to get the new Holiday in going on Depalma Dr
Why is each of the towns departments asking for the same studies The Developer and now the Hotel Franchise has been asked for a 3 rd Traffic flow study on the same stretch of Rd .
Its all Costly Red Tape and $ Not only are we loosing Taxes but Jobs in construction material sales and new employees and in Vandyke’s case affordable Housing they can’t afford to build at pre sale prices There are 2 sides to every story This is not to Vandykes benefit , selling Product is . Don’t believe every thing you hear at the Town

Reply to  Merle Gingrich
3 October 2020 12:30 pm

Enough with the ‘tax dollars’ promise. Yes I agree that these $s are important but not incentive enough to be relying on VanDyk as it “….has no intention of going ahead with building the 72 homes themselves – instead they would pass the project to “a reputable builder”. . “. Just what Cobourg needs is a builders qualifications being determined by another builder – doesn’t work for me. If the developer-of-record does not come through on time, on promise then get rid of them. There are plenty of other developers out there, especially in this crazy sellers market. Enough time has been wasted/transpired – 6 years is to waaaaaay to long.

Linda wittenbols
2 October 2020 2:48 pm

The concerns of the 160+ residents that signed the petition was more than traffic. No one knows who the new builder will be, how long all this will take and if any changes will be requested then. Vandyk forfeited their rights by not fulling their responsibilities. Let them sell the property as is and we will see what a new developer has to offer. It’s time for the existing residents to be given some consideration. This all goes back to 2013, a lot has changed since then.

Reply to  Linda wittenbols
2 October 2020 7:12 pm

Vandyk is an expert at playing the Cobourg bureaucracy as evidenced by what they are doing now. Their tactics include deliberate procrastination, purposeful stalling, delayed payments to subcontractors, excuses etc. Ask Public Works how frustratingly long it took to force Vandyk to finally live up to most of their development agreements concerning the existing West Park subdivision.

The original people who put “Enclave” (with the ridiculous single access road) down payments did get refunds after a couple of years as Vandyk likely could not make enough profit on the original prices. Of course, people’s money and lives were tied up for the entire time. 

Yes, the property should be sold and let another developer deal with it. The Planning department should not be fooled twice.

Linda wittenbols
Reply to  pdr
2 October 2020 9:48 pm

Two wrongs do not a right make. The planning team behind the first debacle have a chance to give this development a new better chance. The old proposed “ghetto” like should be one for the “Oops, sorry” folks. We are hopeful we will be heard. We all want this field developed. Let’s make sure it is one we can all be proud of. Vandyk has not heard us. Maybe a new developer is worth a shot. Ever hopeful.

Reply to  Linda wittenbols
3 October 2020 8:44 am

????? New Word for Affordable —- Ghetto

Red tape prolonged Carrying cost and applications, studies and added infrastructure cost for services You have to Cut some where to keep them AFFORDABLE so it shows in the end result of Unit size and quality
take a hit to Keep the prices in that affordable range .
Time is Money Planning needs to understand this

Linda wittenbols
Reply to  Sandpiper
3 October 2020 12:20 pm

There is no problem with afffordable housing, the problem is with that many houses with only one way in and out. If a single access is the only way, then less units will be the better choice.

Reply to  Linda wittenbols
4 October 2020 10:18 am

Possibly but keep in Mind Elgin st is a County Rd formerly a Provincial Hwy # 2 not just a leisurely st If that’s what is required to keep the Highway traffic flowing safely and you don’t like it
then don’t buy there . There are choices in Cobourg Its the Massive property Taxes in this town that bother me . I came from Leaside area of Tor. and I am paying nearly as much here on a $700 K home as we did in Tor. for a property assessed at $1.4

Reply to  Sandpiper
4 October 2020 9:32 pm

Toronto property taxes have been far too low for years, especially given residents have good bus and subway services; schools within walking distance; to name just a few things that are different to here. Maybe it is time for big city property taxes to be substantially increased.

Reply to  Linda wittenbols
4 October 2020 10:26 am

You might also mention to our Councilor Nichole Beaty
that there is no Issue with Affordable housing in the area .
I don’t know of any thing she has actually created or built so far in her term on Council—–and I don’t see here fighting to keep Developer cost down , Eliminate the Red Tape & Duplication and reducing the real costs of carrying a project to approval and construction so I just may come in on budget and affordable

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Sandpiper
9 October 2020 3:52 am

If there is “no issue” with affordable housing why did my kids and I languish on the waiting list for 4 long years before being offered a unit? I’m grateful we got one so my kids didn’t grow up living over a downtown bank, that was no place for kids on the verge of being teenagers. Under the NDP provincial government I got the only tenant board of directors seat for the Housing Authority, now the County operates subsidized housing totally without tenant input. Everybody loses with that arrangement.