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Blackbridge Road land expropriation to cost up to $1.38 million

Property acquisition will allow the city to build a parking lot, canoe launch and multi-use trail access on Blackbridge Road

Expropriating a corner property at Townline and Blackbridge roads will cost the city up to $1.38 million, including the purchase price, and any other eligible costs from the owner under the Expropriations Act.

The city needs to acquire the 0.6 acre property at 4910 Townline Rd. to construct a parking lot as part of its project to realign Blackbridge Road for a new high-load capacity two-lane bridge.

The property will provide a space for parking, a canoe launch and trail access. The existing truss bridge will be converted into a multi-use trail.

The project will involve reconstructing portions of Townline and Blackbridge Roads, as well as the intersection at Townline, Blackbridge, and Roszell Roads. 

The city says the parking lot will prevent people from parking on Blackbridge and Roszell roads to access nearby trails.

The expropriation wasn't what the owner was hoping for when he purchased the property to build his "dream home."

Muhammad Faisal Islam pleaded with council last summer to have the plan scrapped, saying he thought the city would only require a partial expropriation of his property for the bridge project.

After that meeting with council, Islam requested a Hearing of Necessity, which was scheduled at the Ontario Land Tribunal for March 14, 2022.

During the hearing, Ismail agreed to withdraw his opposition on condition that the parties work towards completion of an agreement of purchase and sale by June 20. Failing that, the city would acquire the property by way of expropriation.

City staff is now asking council to add $100,000 to the expropriation budget to complete the acquisition. The city has set a top settlement price at $1.25 million.

Staff wants to fund the additional expense through a transfer of $33,000 from the Capital Works Reserve Fund and $67,000 from the Development Charges Roads Reserve Fund.

If a negotiated settlement is achieved, possession could occur anytime during the expropriation process.

If the city isn't successful in negotiating a settlement with Islam, it would be forced to take the full expropriation route, which would extend the process to October.

The city is in the process of seeking public feedback on its plan for Blackbridge Road and the bridge conversion until May 23.