Perth Council committee votes to close Perthmore path
At the committee of the whole meeting for Perth council on Tuesday, March 7, a full gallery attended to witness another debate on the future of the Perthmore pathway. The utility easement runs from Senators Gate Drive to Harris Street and is owned by the town. It has 2 above-ground electrical transformers in the middle on either side of Decaria Blvd. It’s been a source of complaints from abutting property owners due to people walking extremely close to their homes and regularly trespassing on their properties. There are no fences to indicate where the easement ends and private properties begin. Town staff periodically cut the grass along the path but does not perform any winter maintenance. Council has been debating what to do with the trail for several years, considering fencing it, creating a maintained walkway, or closing it altogether.
Perthmore resident Howard Connell appeared as a delegation to request the closure of the easement to the public citing privacy and safety concerns. He also indicated that he had the support of 7 of the 8 property owners affected. Staff reported that the placement of the transformers made it impossible to create a continuous 1.5 M wide pathway to meet accessibility standards and that they had received legal advice that leaving it as is presented a liability risk due to the lack of regular maintenance. After a prolonged debate the committee voted 4-2 to close the easement to the public, and erect fencing and no trespassing signs. Mayor Judy Brown declared a conflict and did not participate in the discussion. This decision will have to be ratified at the next regular council meeting.
Perth Golf Course lands development
Caivan Communities, an Ottawa-based developer appeared at the committee meeting to provide details on their proposal to build 950 homes on the lands surrounding the Perth Golf Course. They expect to house between 2,000 and 3,000 residents in a mix of townhomes and singles. They indicated they expect to pay over $12M in infrastructure improvements before ever starting home construction. This includes doubling the size of the Peter Street Bridge, the only entrance to the site. At a presentation last year, Caivan indicated a second bridge on the north side of the lands connecting with Christie Lake Road was under consideration, but it was not in their current plans. This raised concerns from a number of councilors who cited excessive traffic density and emergency response delays if only one bridge was used. Caivan hopes to receive draft plan approval in June and begin home construction in the summer of 2025.
This housing proposal will ruin a magnificent Lanark County Landmark and turn it into an administrative and costly nightmare for the Town and the Tay River watershed. Somebody needs to have another look at this.