After a blast from the past, Mayor James LeDuc hopes both the council and a particular developer have learned from history.
The council approved a two-year extension for the project to approve 20 townhouses at 2676 Line 8 during the council’s regular Nov. 7 meeting.
The property is located northeast of Line 8 and Noble Drive, and is planned to have an access route from Gardiner Drive instead of Line 8.
This is the third time the plan has been brought before the council, after Caprinox Developments amended it from 22 townhouses to 20 before it was rejected by the council on 5 February 2019, based on concerns from neighboring residents regarding the compatibility of townhomes with detached homes. . Homes, parking, traffic, drainage, density, loss of property value, tree preservation, and privacy.
The applicant, now referred to as 8956227 Canada Inc., appealed the decision on March 5, 2019, and on November 20, 2020, the Ontario Lands Tribunal (OLT) – formerly known as the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) – agreed. The application, which also sought to amend the Official Plan (OP) and zoning bylaw.
After three years, those approvals were set to expire without an extension, and some council members weren’t too happy to see the request.
“I’m totally against the extension” Ward 5 Universe. “They were all completely against it,” Peter Veragin said, recalling that the room was “packed” with neighbors opposed to the development in 2019.
Alan Wiebe, director of community planning, emphasized that despite changes to the city’s operational policy and county policy statement, staff remains satisfied that the proposed development meets necessary requirements, as was the case in 2019, and supports the expansion.
Suite 6 universe. Nicholas Harper wanted to know if the development would comply with the upcoming traffic mitigation plan, and Vladimir Rudenko, the planning consultant representing the applicant, confirmed that they would be willing to add the necessary mitigation measures.
Wiebe also stressed that the agreement would require the applicant to meet the needs of the city’s engineering team and traffic studies, so if the city requires speed bumps, the applicant will need to add them.
Veragin objected to the lack of on-street parking for the number of units being added, especially since the increased cost of housing has led to an increase in the number of families with multiple cars living in townhouses.
Suite 7 universe. Peter Dickie agreed, also recalling the anger residents showed towards the proposal in 2019.
Leduc suggested that if the council denies the extension, the applicant could appeal to the OLT, which would likely uphold its ruling.
“We’re beating around the bush here. Trust me: We have no control if we say no to this.”
The mayor acknowledged that the council’s control would be limited even if it approved the extension, but acknowledged that the consultant is taking notes and expressed hope that the applicant would work with the city to help build less expensive housing options while addressing residents’ concerns.
“Infill is what we need. Townhouses are what we need, because not everyone can afford a 2,500-square-foot house…and that’s what’s killing us,” he said.
The council voted six to three in favor of the extension, with Veragin, Dickey and Verkaik voting against.
Even with the extension, the development will still need final council approval of the zoning agreement after the applicant completes detailed designs.
-With files from Jenny Dunning