Parties to the dispute over new residential development at the Clonmel Castle property in Port Dover have reached an agreement on the way forward.
Clonmel owner Lynnee Steffler says she plans to build a single residential building immediately west of Clonmel Castle which will feature 12 1,000-square-foot condominiums over two storeys. The new building includes an underground parking garage.
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The building will be about the same size as Clonmel Castle and have the same exterior features.
“It’s going to be beautiful and everyone can relax,” Steffler said. “We came up with something that will work for everyone.”
Steffler has wanted to re-develop the Clonmel property since she bought it five years ago.
The plan she spoke about on Sept. 23 was her original vision for the estate. She says planning consultants convinced her to try something more ambitious and that was the application presented to Norfolk council.
The four-building, 36-unit townhouse proposal her team came up with generated considerable opposition in the north end of Port Dover and little support around the council table at Governor Simcoe Square.
Steffler appealed the denial to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal – since renamed the Ontario Land Tribunal – in April, 2019. A mediator was appointed and all parties to the dispute worked out the current settlement.
Word of an agreement was shared with Norfolk council on Sept. 22. In the interest of transparency, council granted county solicitor Paula Boutis permission to release the nine-page minutes-of-settlement to the public.
The original 36-unit proposal was the subject of two well-attended public meetings at Governor Simcoe Square before council denied approval.
At the last meeting in March 2019 several residents in the area of Prospect Street and Tisdale Road complained that the sprawling estate – regarded by some as the finest home in Norfolk County – had become the scene of frequent disruptive social gatherings. A clause in the minutes-of-settlement expressly forbids “commercial special events.” The minutes also call for buffering sections of Clonmel’s periphery with tall shrubs and the like.
Aside from the 12 condominium apartments in the new building, Steffler is refurbishing six apartment units in Clonmel Castle itself. Steffler says has invested $500,000 in recent months upgrading electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems throughout the home, which was built almost 100 years ago.
Steffler says her goal is to turn the Clonmel estate into a high-end residential area for empty-nesters and active seniors.
In a report to Norfolk council, Boutis said the Ontario Land Tribunal has set aside Oct. 15 for a final hearing via video conference. The minutes-of-settlement will be presented at this time. If approved, Steffler will collaborate with Norfolk’s planning department on site-plan development and a plan for its execution.
The minutes-of-settlement note there is a moratorium on major new development in Port Dover due to concerns over water-servicing capacity. The minutes say this issue will have to be resolved before Steffler can proceed.