A large crowd filled Township council chambers in March 2014 for a public hearing on the Brookswood/Fernridge community plan. A  proposal  for increased density was eventually rejected. Council voted on Monday to provide the developer with a partial refund.

A large crowd filled Township council chambers in March 2014 for a public hearing on the Brookswood/Fernridge community plan. A proposal for increased density was eventually rejected. Council voted on Monday to provide the developer with a partial refund.

Brookswood plan developer gets refund from Township

Newly-created Mayor’s Standing Committee on Public Engagement hopes to overhaul communication with residents

The company that funded a failed neighborhood development plan for Brookswood is getting a partial refund.

Township council has approved returning $60,757 to the Griffith Neighbourhood Advisory Corporation, the developers who paid for municipal planning work on an updated Brookswood/Fernridge Community plan.

The plan, which proposed to increase allowable housing density in the semi-rural area, was rejected last year after a lengthy public hearing that ran several days and was dominated by opponents.

The refund was the idea of Councillor Angie Quaale, who said the developers should get back leftover money that went unused because the plan was defeated.

Councillor Bob Long objected, warning it would mean the Township may have to give refunds to other developers who have funded neighbourhood plans.

“Did they [Griffith Neighbourhood Advisory Corporation] ask for it?”Long said.

Quaale responded that it was like spending money in a store.

“I don’t ask for my change back when I go to make a purchase,” Quaale said. “It’s just returned to me.”

The refund was approved at the Monday, April 27 evening meeting of council, with the mayor and every councillor except Long voting in favour.

The decision to approve the refund came less than a month after an attempt at restarting the stalled Brookswood community plan process was rejected by council.

Councillor Charlie Fox wanted to get going on a new plan, but couldn’t win enough support.

Councillor Michelle Sparrow said it made little sense to revisit the Brookswood issue when a special committee of council has begun working on ways to avoid another Brookswood battle.

The newly-created Mayor’s Standing Committee on Public Engagement hopes to overhaul communication with residents in the wake of the bitter dispute over the Brookswood/Fernridge plan.

Most members of council, with the exception of Long and Kim Richter, voted to postpone discussing a new Brookswood plan until after the committee has finished its work.

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