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MINTO – A request from Golden Canadian Homes for a 15-month extension to prepare for the development of a Palmerston Industrial Park property has been rejected by council here.

“We don’t feel comfortable at all with a 15-month extension,” interim chief executive Chris Harrow said at the Sept. 6 meeting.

“We think this builder had plenty of time to get their plans and read it all.”

In December, Golden Canadian Homes purchased an industrial property at 345 Minto Road and was expected to obtain planning permission within one year and begin construction the following year.

The company had previously told council that it planned to create an industrial mall in a 23,000 to 60,000 square foot building on the 3.6-acre parcel of land at 345 Minto Road.

Last month, Mohsin Samdanu requested an extension of the deadlines until March 2024.

According to a report to council prepared by township staff Belinda Wick Graham and Sponge KuipersSamdanu attributed the delays “to [COVID]staffing issues with their architect’s office and delays in delivering materials.

“In discussion with its contractor, they estimate that they would not be able to obtain planning permission before December 16, 2022 or within a six-month extension period for which staff had recommended approval in the past, ”says the report to the board.

(The purchase contract allows for a maximum extension of six months.)

Nine months have passed since the sale closed, and staff believe the design and construction of the site could have been completed by now.

“The town is now down to two more serviced parcels and with the interest we have in industrial land, staff cannot in good faith recommend to council a 15-month extension,” the report said.

If Golden Canadian Homes isn’t ready to move forward, the city has no qualms about buying out the property and reselling it, Harrow said.

This could be done for 90% of the purchase price, less legal and transfer fees.

Councilor Ron Elliott said he wasn’t sure half a year was even reasonable and asked if staff would be comfortable with a six-month extension.

Harrow said staff had received “mixed messages” from the builder regarding a timeline.

“Why the 15-month extension, we’re not sure,” he said, but noted that staff were comfortable with a six-month extension.

“We think we’re being too nice at six o’clock,” Mayor George Bridge said.

“But at the end of the day, we want to work with people who have put the time and effort into it.”

Councilor Judy Dirksen accepted the suggestion.

The Council has refused the 15-month extension requested by Samdanu and will respond with a six-month counter-offer.

If accepted, Golden Canadian Homes will owe $12,600 for the extension, with the amount to be repaid if the commitments are met.