Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting was long but included several key decisions. The hottest and most contentious issue was whether to proceed with approving the development by Van Dyke Homes next to Canadian Tire but it wasn’t the only issue. The others will be reported later this week – but given the intensity of feelings of neighbours on Carlisle Street and the quite long debate in Council, let’s try to understand the issue.
The land in question is adjacent to Canadian Tire with a commercial frontage on Elgin Street. The intent is to build 62 townhouse units and 10 semi-detached units with access via a loop accessed via a single road from Carlisle Street. The residences would have only pedestrian access to the commercial buildings facing Elgin although access for emergency vehicles would be possible – see previous articles in links below for more details.
The general concerns of nearby residences are:
- Increased traffic
- Drainage problems with the site.
In 2013 VanDyk applied for Official Plan and Zoning changes and Site Plan Approval which were approved. But the approval expired in 2019 when work was not started although all homes were sold. Therefore VanDyk re-applied in June 2020 with the understanding that once approved, they would deliver the land, complete with site plan approval, to a “reputable Builder”.
Public Meetings have been held including one on September 29 and reported on this site (see links below).
At no point were any local residents happy and at Monday’s meeting two residents were scheduled to make presentations objecting to the idea. Linda Wittenbols was unable to be on the Zoom call so Donna Woods presented for both. Although they were aware of traffic studies that declared traffic to not be a problem, they said the study does not reflect daily life in the neighbourhood. They also pointed to drainage problems. Donna quoted multiple people who said that Councillors represented them and not developers. Donna’s presentation included a large number of attachments – see links below.
Director of Planning and Development Glenn McGlashon wrote a long memo and gave a verbal presentation that recommended approval of the development. He said that the plan met Official Plan requirements and the Province’s intensification targets. He also said that a new Traffic study found that there were no concerns with traffic issues – even with further expansion. Glenn said that speeding was a social issue and should be addressed with policing. The drainage concern was real but would be addressed by using fill to raise the level of the land so that drainage would be to the north and ultimately carried by existing pipes.
Councillors asked a lot of questions – mostly about development details but Brian Darling asked when would the developer be able to appeal to LPAT. Glenn said that the 120 days allowed for a decision had already elapsed so technically an appeal is already possible.
In the end Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin asked for a recorded vote and when the measure was put to a vote, it was approved 5-2 with Suzanne and Councillor Emily Chorley against.
Glenn was clear that this is the first of several stages of approval. It’s likely that local citizens will continue to object – so stay tuned.
- Linda Wittenbols
- Donna Woods – a single pdf including her 14 attachments – these include 4 pictures and 7 letters from other residents
- VanDyk Moves forward with West Park Village Expansion – 8 April 2018
- VanDyk’s Site Plan up for re-approval – 2 October 2020