Tagged: Copperstone Ballantrae

28 May


Developer Demonstrate Green, Community Awareness


Geranium Homes has a proposal before Town for Lakeshore Road

By Charlene Jones

Commercial development will be coming to Highway 48

In a perfect world, fields remain fields, stretches of road remain as you remember them and developers stay somewhere else. This is not that world and our community faces change. This is not a guess, or a maybe, but a certainty, although what kind of retail buildings might greet us in future along Highway 48 remains anyone’s guess. The Town, for example, faces increased pressure to create new, affordable housing, since so many people want what we enjoy: community based, quiet life surrounded by nature. To continue delivering top quality services to all, the Town must lean toward a greater tax base. At the same time, the Ontario Government pressures builders to squeeze more from less: more people on less land to create less urban sprawl.

Lakeshore Road Project

Geranium Homes, a leader since 1977 in high quality, uniquely designed homes has a proposal before Town outlining a plan to designate approximately 12 acres east of Highway 48 along Lakeshore Road as sites for 19 homes (1 existing home to be maintained and 18 new to be built) Yes, each home on approximately half an acre.


Draft proposal for Lakeshore project

Consider some of the options. An application for north of Ballantrae is in process to construct 5 houses per acre, the equivalent of 50 homes on 10 acres, clearly in keeping with those pressures from the provincial government.

Another possibility sees the Town approving a 50 home subdivision of affordable homes, then creating a bus route to transport those folks. Imagine the increased population with those figures.

Or picture an institution with a three or four acre parking area. That would mean paving paradise, for sure! While these three options are within the realm of reality, the idea of 19 detached homes, beautifully built, costing more than a million dollars each leads the pack as the choice to back.

Yes, that’s right, over $1,000,000 to start is the selling price targeted for these new homes. One way to consider this new community is as a buffer zone between the lake and the coming commercialization on Highway 48.


Previous Geranium Homes project in Ballantrae

MLRA Meets with Geranium Homes

As one of the most successful builders in Ontario, Geranium Homes raise unique, top quality homes, as green or energy efficient as possible. To back up this claim, Geranium invites everyone to drop by the model homes at Forest Trail Estates on the west side of 48 just south of Lakeshore Road.

The President of the Musselman’s Lake Residents Association, Rick Wigmore met on two occasions with two of Geranium’s top executives to discuss the impact of Geranium’s proposed site on our community. Mario Giampietri, the President of Geranium Homes attended the first meeting, and the second meeting was with Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice- President, Land Development for Geranium Homes.

Note that Geranium Homes holds the relationship with our community in such high regard that Mr. Giampietri himself attended the first meeting.

As follow-up to the discussion in which Wigmore outlined four major concerns of the residents, Shindruk returned the following:


1. Density-0.5-acrelots

The proposed lots range in size from 0.5 acre to 1.05 acres, with the majority in the range of 0.5 to 0.6 acres.

The site is designated “Future Residential Area II” in the Ballantrae- Musselman Lake Secondary Plan. This designation permits a minimum lot size of 0.5 acres for lots with communal septic systems.Historically, the size of estate lots was determined by the land area needed to accommodate a private septic system and provide sufficient attenuation area on site (i.e., on the individual lot). The tertiary (higher level) treatment provided by the Waterloo Biofilter System does not require as much land area for attenuation.

Provincial policy mandates more efficient use of land and the use of advanced treatment technology wherever possible, to benefit the environment and create more sustainable communities. The proposed development does this.

2. Waterloo Biofilter System. Why chosen? How safe? Proof of regular maintenance.

Why chosen?

The Waterloo Biofilter System is approved for use in Ontario by the Ontario Building Code.

The Waterloo Biofilter System treats sewage to a higher quality than conventional septic systems, resulting in cleaner effluent being discharged from the system to the tile beds.

Unlike conventional septic systems, the Waterloo Biofilter treats the wastewater before it is released into the soil, typically resulting in a 50% to 65% reduction in nitrate levels.

In addition to the benefits of reduced nitrates discharging into the environment, another important benefit of the Waterloo Biofilter System is the fact that air is able to circulate passively through the unit to maintain aerobic conditions, thereby eliminating the need for mechanical aeration (commonly used in other systems).

How Safe?

As noted, the OBC recognizes the Waterloo Biofilter System as a system approved for use in Ontario.

The Ontario Building Code requires property owners with Waterloo Biofilter systems (and similar systems) to enter into a maintenance contract with an authorized service provider.

3. Water flow across property. What assurances will we have that there will be no backup into the basements on Aurora Road

Geranium Homes is required to demonstrate that pre-development surface water flow will be unchanged in a post-development condition, to ensure there will be no negative impacts on the surrounding properties.

The hydrogeological assessment undertaken by our consulting team has been accepted and signed off on by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, who ultimately must be satisfied that the development can be implemented without impacting neighbouring properties.

The water budget analysis compares the predevelopment and post- development movement of water through the hydrologic cycle. On a site- specific basis, such parameters as runoff, infiltration and evapotranspiration are considered to assess the impacts of the development on the hydrologic characteristics of the site.

4. Traffic Flow – concern that the corner of Lakeshore and Highway 48 already back up in rush hour.

The Transportation Assessment by BA Group (Consulting transportation engineers) confirms that both Lakeshore Road and Highway 48 will function at acceptable levels. The traffic impacts on Highway 48 are even less than on Lakeshore Road. Highway 48 has more than ample capacity to handle the traffic from the 18 new lots.

The BA Group also concluded that Lakeshore Road and its intersection with Treeview Avenue can fully accommodate the traffic that will be generated with little to no impact.

It is worth noting Geranium hired BA Group Consulting to consider the influx of traffic as a result of the new development, a move that indicates true desire to fulfill all laws and to minimize impact on our community.

Geranium Homes sponsors local events

In addition to taking the MLRA questions seriously, Geranium has put dollars into community charities with donations to the Stouffville Winter Carnival, the Stouffville Fall Fair, the Ballantrae Wine and Cheese Festival. All functions are fund raising events for the various charities in this community.

Positive effect on our community

Geranium’s insistence on building only the best high quality homes will aid in increasing the value of our homes. Adding nineteen high value homes will have a positive effect on the community as a whole. These homes will not only act as a buffer between our community and the commercialization of Highway 48 but they will also help to improve our dynamic community’s image as has happened with other high value projects.

If you have an opinion for or against, or have any questions at all simply write us at mlra@musselmanslake.ca and we will make your concerns known.

We will make every effort to answer your questions in a timely manner.

23 Nov




This was just the first in a series of meetings before any final decisions are made. If you want to have any input into shaping this development it is important that you attend subsequent meetings as they are announced.


We attended the Council meeting on November 20th concerning the rezoning of the Geranium lots on Lakeshore Road from an 8 home development to a 19 home development. The meeting was well attended with concerned residents and MLRA executive members. There we witnessed one of the finest presentations by local resident, Kate Greenway, who went before council and eloquently presented all her reasons backed by facts and information on why this rezoning should be seriously re-examined by the Mayor and Council. Other residents also stated their opposition to this rezoning but what struck us this night was there was no yelling or shouting and every resident voiced their concern with professionalism. We are posting the complete presentation of Kate and would encourage you click to here now to read her very informative and well researched presentation. (click here)

In a nutshell the residents near the proposed development expressed concerns that there was already a water problem in the area and problems with flooded basements. They thought this development might just make their problems worse. Lot size of only ½ acre was also a concern. The small lot sizes require a new septic system, the Waterloo Biofilter Nitrate Reducing System. This system is approved for use in Ontario; but, homeowners must have it serviced regularly (every 6 months) and if they don’t we may have an environmental issue.

In summary, the preferred option is no development but realistically that is not an option. The land is already approved for development. That leaves residents between the proverbial rock and a hard place that being the original approved option of 8 homes on 10 acres or the developers wish of 19 homes on 10 acres. Hopefully there is a compromise solution that can be reached like perhaps 10 homes on 10 acres which would mean 1 acre lots not ½ acre lots. We understand the developer has to make money but at what cost to the well-being of the existing residents. We will reach out to Geranium and allow them to make their case on this web site and see if a compromise cannot be reached.

Councillor Bannon has explained this is just the first in a series of meetings before any final decisions are made. This meeting was the opportunity for residents to raise any concerns that they might have. Now Town Staff will review these concerns plus their own and come down with a series of recommendations for the Developer and Town Council. There will also be a formal presentation by Geranium on the proposed project. So as it stands right now nothing is written in stone; however, if you want to have any input into shaping this development it is important that you attend subsequent meetings as they are announced.

In the meantime CONGRATULATIONS to Kate Greenway on a presentation very well presented and researched. The community says THANK-YOU!

And to all those residents who took the time to attend this meeting in order to gain a greater understanding of the issues and voice their concerns… THANK-YOU VERY MUCH for your participation.