Decertify our condo board, residents tell Cambridge council
Waterloo Region Record
By Chris Herhalt
03 March 2015

Cambridge—Fed up with appearing to the outside world as a disjointed "condo-road," residents of 15 homes in Hespeler asked city council to decertify their condominium corporation at a committee meeting Tuesday night.

After paying for their own waste collection, snow removal, and having city officials request they start paying a fee to maintain their fire hydrant, residents Corey Somerton, Dave Vanderheyden and Dave Cahill asked Cambridge councillors to take over their shared-access road and absorb them as just another neighbourhood in the city.

"This condominium corporation should've never been approved by the city in the first place," Somerton said.

He said the laneway that connects 12 of the 15 homes in the condo board to Alderson Drive is plenty wide enough to accept emergency vehicles, snowplows and garbage trucks, something often disputed when condo groups ask for access to city services.

Vanderheyden, a resident of one of three homes attached to the condo board but situated out of sight of the others on River Road, said his home receives several services from the city but still has to pay a $65-per-month fee to the remain part of the condominium corporation.

"We're being double billed severely."

The only thing that connects his home to the homes on Alderson Drive is 60 feet of pipe. He urged the city to assume responsibility for the development.

"I can't believe the city won't pick up 60 feet of piping and assume responsibility. That's all we have common with Alderson."

Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig said that the city should help the residents of the condominium board explore their options, but said they should be reminded that decertification is a significant change.

"We have to have further discussions with residents in terms of decertification and what the implications are."

Coun. Mike Mann urged the residents to "try to keep their personalities out of" their exchanges with staff and councillors.

Councillors voted unanimously to accept a report on the matter and promised to raise it again at a meeting scheduled for March 24.

During a short recess, Cahill defended his approach of pressuring staff and council members with an email campaign, saying it was the only way they would realize the extent of the residents' concerns.

Here is a situation where owners bought free-hold houses in a common element condominium corporation.

Because it is a private corporation, the builder did not have to build the road or all the infrastructure to municipal standards.

The houses should have been cheaper to buy but now the owners are starting to realize that living in a common element condo (much like an American HOA) can have much higher maintenance and replacement costs than a regular municipal street.

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