Coronation Drive School Site Update

Summary from Town meeting of October 1, 2008 regarding application to rezone and subdivide school site on Coronation Drive

Related posts:
Email from HCDSB Trustee Pauline Houlahan
Presentation by Our Residents’ Association
Application to Rezone and Subdivide and Our Petition to the Town

The Town meeting was well attended. Our residents’ association was represented. We voiced:
- Opposition to the application to rezone and subdivide the school site;
- The need for more school capacity in our community;
- Support of the HCDSB retaining its rights to this school site;
- Our hope that the HCDSB would build a school at this site; and
- Support for these positions by submitting 490 signed petitions from our community.

A few notes for information:
- The school site consists of two lots owned by two different developers.
- The smaller portion is nearer North Ridge Trail (the “north lot”). It was communicated that this north lot is owned by the HCDSB and that they are commencing arbitration late October 2008 to set the price that the HCDSB will pay that developer.
- The developer who owns the larger portion (the “south lot”) has applied for its lot to be subdivided and rezoned. The developer indicated that it has attempted to sell the south lot to the HCDSB and is still eager to sell it to the HCDSB. If the HCDSB doesn’t want the lot, the developer would like it released for housing rather than let it stagnate: summarized by the wish that the HCDSB “fish or cut bait”.
- The HCDSB has communicated to the Town that they are not releasing their rights to purchase the south lot and that they intend to purchase it.
- It was stated that the HCDSB intends to construct a school on this site in 2010-2011. Please note that the HCDSB will want to know that they will have the students to use the school before they’ll build a school. While there is no guarantee of a school even if the HCDSB purchases the site, there definitely won’t be a school if they don’t.

- There are two more steps in the Town process.

o Next step is a statuary public meeting where Town staff will report to Town councillors on the application.

o Following that, at a later meeting Town councillors will vote on the application.

o The dates for these meetings is not known (perhaps several months to the next and again to the last). Additional petitions will be collected and submitted at the next Town meeting to add to our total.

- Earlier this year the developer filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board concerning this application. This could be heard as early as mid-November 2008 but perhaps not until sometime in 2009. The OMB has the authority to overrule a decision by the Town.

There are three things running together: the arbitration on the north lot; the Town process; and the appeal to the OMB. The arbitration on the north lot is relevant as it will be an indicator for determining the price of the larger south lot.

It is easy to say that the HCDSB should just buy the south lot and be done with it, but that is too narrow a look. The whole subdivision was divvied up many years ago for various uses and the school boards were given the right to purchase specific lots from the developers and the developers were able to build on other lots. Our subdivision is nearing completion but there are still a large number of residents yet to move into their homes or for their homes to still be completed or even started. Beyond legal rights, it is just plain reasonable that if HCDSB needs more time to determine whether they want a school on this site, they should be given some more time. After all, it is a long term decision and we don’t want our school boards being forced to make premature decisions that might lead to school sites being released that should have been retained.

There is no need for antagonism towards any party. The HCDSB is looking after its interests. The developer is looking after its interests. Our community is looking after its interests. The Town and the Province have processes for these matters to be resolved. Our residents’ association will continue to participate in these processes. We encourage all residents to participate in these processes.

In the meantime, please take up Trustee Pauline Houlahan’s invitation to contact her and her fellow Oakville Trustees with your comments. We will gladly assist the HCDSB in demonstrating the need for a Catholic elementary school so that they can move beyond acquiring a school site and onto building a school.

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