Thread: Ancaster Update
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2013, 7:05 PM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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Nuns scrap bid to sell Ancaster natural ‘jewel’ for housing
(Ancaster News, Richard Leitner, Apr 11 2013)

A decision to abandon controversial plans to build homes on part of the Mount Mary Christian Retreat Centre property on Wilson Street East is being hailed as “good news” for Ancaster and the Dundas Valley.

Owners Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate informed the Hamilton Conservation Authority last week through their lawyer that they will no longer try to sever and sell a western portion of their 41-hectare home to a developer.

A 2012 Ontario Municipal Board condition for the severance required the Ukrainian Catholic order to donate about 5.6-hectares of environmentally sensitive land abutting the Dundas Valley to the authority by June 23.

The two parties had been in discussions and the authority had offered to give the sisters tenancy over a section of donated land to allow continued access to a pond, but the donation will also no longer proceed.

“It’s really good news for the Dundas Valley,” authority chair Brian McHattie said. “We, of course, had a great relationship with the sisters. It’s better now.”

Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson also welcomed the decision, but said he’s not surprised.

Apart from the required land donation, any development faced several technical hurdles, including the need to relocate water pumping stations because of a gap between rock elevation and the water table, he said.

A previous plan, also abandoned, had sought to build 62 homes and 54 stacked townhouses there.

“It was just too expensive to service and so that’s why the developer who was going to purchase the property has stepped back,” Ferguson said.

“I think the community will be thrilled about this. It’s a gorgeous piece of property. It’s a jewel right in the middle of Ancaster and there was some real uneasiness about going in and developing, even if it was on a third of the property.”
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