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As window for appeals closes, Unity Farm Inn and Spa to proceed with development

Click to play video 'No LPAT appeals filed against Unity Farm Inn & Spa development' No LPAT appeals filed against Unity Farm Inn & Spa development
WATCH: Glenburnie residents' association now focused on site plan control process – Oct 13, 2020

It was mid-September when Kingston city council approved the necessary zoning change that will allow Unity Farm Inn and Spa to proceed.

That vote also started the clock ticking for interested parties to file an appeal to council’s decision to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

The time to file an appeal ran out on Oct. 8.

The Glenburnie Residents’ association has raised concerns about the impact the spa could have on residents’ well water, traffic volumes, and the fit in a largely rural area, although one that nonetheless sits within Kingston’s boundaries.

David Pentney, the Glenburnie association’s chairperson, said the group met to discuss filing an appeal to the LPAT but told Global Kingston they estimated their odds were, at best, 50/50.

Read more: Unity Farm Inn and Spa given green light to proceed by Kingston council

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“We consider this to be a rural residential area. The city has a different view, but that really is a subjective argument and it’s really hard to win.”

The developer behind the spa is Ben Pilon and his company, BPE Development.

Pilon wasn’t available to be interviewed on Oct. 13, now that the appeal window is closed.

He did meet with Global Kingston on Sept. 18 after council had approved the zoning change allowing the project at the corner of Unity and Battersea roads to proceed.

Click to play video 'President of BPE Development says years of reports and studies have gone into proposed Unity Farm, Inn and Spa.' President of BPE Development says years of reports and studies have gone into proposed Unity Farm, Inn and Spa.
President of BPE Development says years of reports and studies have gone into proposed Unity Farm, Inn and Spa – Jul 15, 2020

In September, Pilon said he was willing to work with all parties moving forward.

“Even the groups that are opposing some of our project and we can start working with them on the site plan and ensure that it’s the best possible project for everyone in the area,” he said

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One of the next steps in advancing the spa development is the site plan process.

That has been bumped up to the municipality’s planning committee allowing for public input.

It is that process that Pentney says the residents’ association will be focusing their efforts on.

Read more: Ontario government announces more than $480K to boost Kingston-region tourism

Pentney says the group wants increased monitoring of the wells expanded and the group wants access to the data.

Buffering between the spa and surrounding residences is an area of concern along with the proposed hotel on the site.

Pentney says the breakdown of approved hotel rooms and cabins on the property is set at 67, but how many will be cabins and how many will be hotel rooms won’t be known until the site plan is submitted to the municipality.

“Will it be the 20 rooms and 40 cabins or will it be one 67-room hotel building?” he said. “Obviously we have concerns with the latter.”

When Pilon met with Global Kingston in September, he said the entire development, which includes a boutique hotel, cabins, brewery, winery and restaurant, could take between five to 10 years to fully complete.

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Click to play video 'BPE development: Unity Inn & Spa won’t cause water worries for residents in Kingston’s north end' BPE development: Unity Inn & Spa won’t cause water worries for residents in Kingston’s north end
BPE development: Unity Inn & Spa won’t cause water worries for residents in Kingston’s north end – Sep 12, 2018