A housing project that raised much controversy earlier this year will now certainly proceed after the last potential hindrance standing in the way was cast aside. An appeal challenging the project was dropped mid last month, clearing the way for the project to happen after all.
“I am writing to advise that the appeal by Gary Courville was withdrawn by email dated October 12, 2023,” reads a letter sent to the Municipality from the Ontario Land Tribunal. “There are no outstanding appeals in this matter, and our file is closed. As a result, the Tribunal has cancelled the hearing event that was scheduled to commence on December 11, 2023.”
Phil Mosher, Deputy Director of Planning and Development for the Municipality, shared the news with Council in an internal email, stating that he was “pleased to announce” the decision. Deputy Mayor John Barclay shared the news with the media in turn, stating that the announcement represented “good news for downtown [Kemptville].”
One of the first motions passed by North Grenville Council in 2023 related to the apartments in question, nicknamed the “KPS apartments” because they are slated to be built on the land of the former Kemptville Public School. Council approved the zoning amendments in January, thereby giving approval to set the project in motion.
Council was very heavily criticized at the time for appearing to disregard public dissent regarding the project. Indeed, many downtown Kemptville residents were opposed to at least some aspects of the project – including the height of the proposed buildings – but the project has consistently had strong supporters as well.
Each Council member had unique reasons for supporting the project, as well as concerns and questions brought up during discussion, with the project ultimately being supported due to the need for higher density housing to support Kemptville’s downtown.
The developer is reportedly eager to move the project along in the wake of this most recent news, with plans to construct the first apartment building in the spring of 2024.