The May 14 Carleton Place council’s committee of the whole session blew up into a shouting match when a local developer, Cheryl Batten attempted to address council and members of the gallery during a discussion about an apartment building. The committee had just finished reviewing a presentation made by Tyler Duval, Acting Manager of Developmental Services. An application to build a 4 storey 32 unit structure at 127 Boyd St was put before the committee for decision and staff supported the application. Duval noted the future residence of 1 and 2 bedroom units would be located less than 200 meters from a similarly sized facility on Woodward St. He went on to add that the specs listed in the plan met or exceeded town requirements with 2 minor exceptions that were reviewed and found not to present any risks or concerns to the public.
Council members questioned Duval and the developer’s representative, who was present, about specifics of the plan and how it would fit in the surrounding neighbourhood. Duval also noted that the application was in the works prior to Carleton Place’s new interim control bylaw (which limits new buildings to a maximum height of less than 30 feet in certain sectors) so it would not apply to those more stringent controls. After ensuring all questions were answered, committee chair, councilor Theresa Fritz called for a committee vote and the application was approved, pending full council ratification.
It was at this point that local developer Cheryl Batten stood up and loudly introduced herself as the “failed Allen St developer”. She approached the chamber’s center table asking why council just approved a project so similar to hers which was turned down by the last council in the fall of 2018. She filed an appeal of that decision to Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and it ruled in favor of the town’s position at the end of last month. She shouted out, “Why was this (Boyd St Project) approved and not mine!” Fritz requested that Batten cease and leave the chambers. When she didn’t move, Fritz then warned Batten that the police would be called to have her removed, to which Batten shouted back, “Call them!” Fritz ordered staff to make the call and then declared that the meeting was adjourned immediately and left the chambers. Batten headed for the exit and left.
After a short break, Fritz returned and reconvened the meeting. Before entering into the next agenda item, Fritz asked Duval how the Boyd Street project differed from Batten’s Allen Street proposal and why the 2 applications received such different treatments by the town. Duval replied that the Allen Street apartment building was proposed to go into an established neighbourhood of single-family homes and that there was vacant land next to the Boyd St site and another similar sized residence was nearby. He also stated that a shadowing study had been done by the developer to indicate if any neighbours would be affected by lack of sunlight and this study showed no potential effect. Boyd Street is compatible with the neighbourhood, Duval concluded and Allen Street was not.