Owen Sound Council is smoothing the way for the developers of the Heritage Grove Centre.
Pre-grading work has begun at the site just east of Home Depot on Highway 26, even though an easement agreement with the neighbouring property owner hasn't been signed.
Consultant Allen Windrem told council they were late in receiving a city staff report, and couldn't have the signature in time for council.
Windrem says if the developer has to wait any longer, it could take 8 to 12 weeks before work could begin, and by then it would be winter and too late.
After a lengthy debate, council agreed to allow the work to go forward, as it's in line with their initiative to pro-actively become leaders of regional economic development.
But the developer must have the easement agreement signed within 30 days.
Mayor Deb Haswell pointed out that council has been very accommodating to the developer, and that the developer needs to start respecting council's process in regards to new builds.
The 45 million dollar project will house nine stores on the 20 acre property just east of Home Depot on Highway 26.
Windrem estimates it will create 300 to 400 new jobs in the community.