Perth South approves severance of Surplus Farm House lots

Council Meeting Recap

By Stewart Grant

Perth County Planner Mark Swallow presented 4 applications to Council on April 4th, each of which involved requests to create new lots for residential purposes by severing agricultural parcels with surplus farm houses. These were the first such proposals brought before council since the Perth County Official Plan for surplus farm dwellings was completed last year.

Mr. Swallow reviewed the characteristics of each application versus the criteria laid out in the Official Plan. For example, proposed residential lot sizes were considered reasonable in size (the largest being 2.2 acres and the smallest being roughly 1 acre) and the surplus farm houses were all considerably older than the 10-year minimum age requirement.

Council approved the applications (by Idlewood Farms, Russell Barker, Morris & Irene Vandewalle, and Dan & Susan Coulthard) to proceed to the Perth County Land Division Committee which represents the next stage of the severance approval process.

Other Council Meeting Highlights

• AMDSB Representative Lynette Geddes provided an overview of Perth South’s local public school enrollment. Downie Central is full as a result of taking a significant number of students from Stratford, while South Perth Centennial is operating at roughly 60% capacity. It is likely that an accommodation review will take place this fall. St. Marys’ expansion in the north (Glass Street extension) could potentially be an area to draw additional students to SPCS.

• Following the recommendation of Director of Public Works Ken Bettles, Council approved the selection of contractor AJN Builders Incorporated to conduct the repairs to bridge 17 on Line 4. With a tendered amount of $274,104, AJN was the lowest of the six bids received, while also having a strong reputation for quality based on their prior work performed within Perth South.

• Perth South Clerk Lizet Scott shared the results of research into vote tabulation machines for the upcoming 2018 Municipal Election. With the various options ranging from costs of $7,700 to $18,000, this was not deemed to be a good investment for a municipality of Perth South’s size. Lizet recommended that Perth South continue to focus on “vote by mail” processes that have worked well in the past, and this proposal was approved by Council.

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