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Mountain View County board hears appeal of athletic training facility approval

Appellants – who otherwise support the project in Mountain View County – cite concerns including inadequately built road to accommodate increased traffic and suggest considering alternate location

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – The county’s subdivision and development appeal board (SDAB) has heard an appeal of a development permit approved on Oct. 6 for a $450,000 private athletic training facility for multi-sport athletes in the Westerdale community in Division 4.

The property is located on the west side of Rge. Rd. 31 about two kilometres north of Twp. Rd. 320.

The permit is for business, contractor - private athletic training for multi-sport athletes within accessory building - shop with setback relaxation. The facility will include a 13,000 square foot building.

The indoor athletic training facility will feature a full baseball infield, located on the northeast corner of the property.

The appeal was heard on Nov. 22 at the SDAB hearing held in council chambers. 

The appellants are Jason and Michelle Finnigan. They cited a number of concerns, including that the roads at the location are not built to accommodate increased traffic that would come with the new business.

“If you take a drive up our road, coming north on Rge. Rd. 31 from Twp. Rd. 320, you will notice that our road is significantly narrower than a lot of other gravel roads in the county, being six-metres wide north of our property, at most,” the appellants said in a submission to the SDAB. 

“It can be quite challenging at times to meet oncoming vehicles, particularly if they are pulling farm implements. There are also significant steep ditches starting north of our property’s driveway.”

They also said the business would be better located in a business park in the county.

“We think that this business is a fantastic opportunity provided to local youth and we wish the applicants success with their endeavor. All we are suggesting is that the approving authority, as well as the applicant, reconsider the location of the proposed business to a more suitable location within Mountain View County.”

In a letter in support of the appeal, area landowners Kevin and Lisa Land said, in part, “Our main concern with this proposed development stem from the forecasted increase in traffic, especially on Rge. Rd. 31. The majority of Rge. Rd. 31 is narrow and has steep shoulders, making it difficult to meet and pass oncoming vehicles. This road is not built for high-use, but for agricultural purposes. 

“Inviting more traffic on this road will inherently increase the potential for future vehicle incidents, either by a lone occupant or involving other vehicles, pedestrians, pets or livestock.”

Several other letters were submitted to the SDAB in support of the appeal.

The applicant told the board that the proposed new business is well suited for the location and would provide a valuable service to local youth.

During the Nov. 22 hearing, several residents spoke in support of the appeal and in support of the applicant.

The SDAB must release its decision on the appeal within 15 days.

Dan Singleton

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