The staff and council of the Municipality of North Grenville are very pleased about the amount of development taking place in the municipality, and the number of people moving into the area from Ottawa and Toronto. It may seem surprising, then, that the businesses responsible for providing the new homes for these arrivals are very unhappy with the way they are being treated by municipal procedures and bylaws.
A recent meeting of builders voiced their displeasure with not being able to efficiently advertise their properties to visiting would-be home buyers because the signage bylaw forbids them using temporary a-frame signs on the street to direct visitors to their sites. They feel it is seriously affecting their ability to attract potential buyers to the area, and steps taken by the municipality to provide alternative signage is not working.
Some builders are increasingly looking to build outside North Grenville, where municipalities seem more interested in making business easier for them. Zoning applications, and other procedural issues, are taking far too long here, and it is costing builders time and money, cutting into their business and affecting the final cost of building houses. There is a fear that too much bureaucracy could price North Grenville, especially Kemptville, out of the market.
It is believed that some builders may make presentations to council in March to see if there is any way to improve the situation. The Economic Development Committee, which has spent the past months engaging in a restructuring program, seems to be out of touch with the situation.
Council may find itself being approached by commercial interests to change bylaws while sitting under a sign naming one builder as name rights owner of the Arts Theatre where the Council meets. An interesting state of affairs.