The proposed Dutch Meadows residential development on the west side of Morrisburg is the largest residential development in the 18 year history of South Dundas.
The development fills a need in South Dundas for condominiums and when completed will help the entire community retain residents and grow. South Dundas has been behind other area municipalities in the availability of condos for people looking to downsize.
It is a proposed development, but has a long route to go before construction can begin. South Dundas council’s enthusiastic support is a good first step in the process.
Subdivisions are approved at the county, not the lower-tiered municipality, level. That said there are a lot of considerations, planning and consultations required. The development is a long-term project in four phases, with approximately five years per phase.
While growing the community by 200 residential units will be good for our area schools, which face declining enrolment, that is not the case for other services in the community. Doctor recruitment and retention continues to be an issue here. This will require a long-term plan to ensure the services are in place for those who choose to live here.
The municipality will have to create plans on how to tie this new development into the existing water system, and extend the sewer system. This is the first connection to the trunk water main between Morrisburg and Iroquois. It is also the first extension of Morrisburg’s sewer system since the new plant was constructed.
Jobs are another factor. It is good to expand the residential base, but if the jobs are not here, what is the attraction to move into the community?
A key consideration in the process is that not everyone will be for a development of this size, or in the location proposed. There could also be a push back from existing homeowners for various reasons including expansion of services, quality of life, and more.
Both sides, for and against need to remember that the process should be respectful. All parties involved will need time to ensure they get it right. After issues in the Morrisburg industrial park where property was sold unserviced – then the municipality chose to extend services after the fact – the need to get it right this time is more apparent.
The approval process will be long, two years at a minimum. The public and affected parties, the municipality, and others will all have the opportunity to comment before an approval is given.