The public wasn’t fond of the proposed redevelopment plan on 2100 Brant Street. Thursday, October 12 at 7pm, a public meeting was held at the Crossroads Centre where the community debated with developers, regarding whether or not townhouses should be developed on 2100 Brant Street. The proposal submitted was for a development of 12 townhouse blocks (with a total of 83 units) and three condominium townhouse blocks (150 units). With a total area of 11.1 hectares (27.2 acres) and land that has been historically used for agricultural purposes, many residents living in the area didn’t think that a development such as this would be good for anyone.
Quite a few residents near Brant Street, who seemed to have lived on either Havendale or Fairchild Boulevard, were concerned about the effects an increase in houses would have on schools nearby. With many new families coming to live in the suburbs, and a large increase in students attending schools in North Burlington, it has been questioned whether or not there will be enough space for the next 300 students who would presumably come and live in these new townhouses. However, it is not only the schools they are worried about, but the traffic, and how dangerous it may be for young children to have to walk to school everyday. One women even mentioned that in order to get to school, children will have to walk across Brant Street – something most parents wouldn’t be too comfortable with. On top of this, Brant Street would only get busier. Residents commented that with an addition of at least 400 cars (2 per family) coming from the families of the new townhouses, driving to and from work along Brant will become even more of a hassle.
The development of the houses that has been proposed is in an area labeled as low density residential. This means that the intended use for a certain location can include housing, but must include a lot of green space. These zones are meant for a small number of residential homes, and exclude large industries, apartment complexes, and other large structures. However, the developers would like to develop as if it had medium density residential zoning, and have requested a zoning amendment.
Residents questioned the cost and pricing for such townhouses as well. Developers mentioned how they were interested in connecting with younger consumers, looking for cheaper homes around Burlington. Many wondered if the cheap pricing would cause the area to become a ghetto, however developers stated that buyers would likely be younger people starting families, who they would like to attract, and secondly, they would not overlook certain people not based on their financial status; they would like to sell to all different types of people.
As the meeting went on, and many arguments from the public were disregarded, one man questioned why rules and zoning by-laws are even put into place, if they are going to constantly be disobeyed after all.
Amy’s Take: I agreed completely with what had been said, as I, myself, have only ever attended a few public meetings, however each plan that has been discussed seemed to either include some sort of loophole, or completely ignore the by-laws as if they didn’t exist. Developers should work within the rules, and make plans based on what the rules are; it makes no sense for them to be permitted to do what they want and merely hope the council changes their mind.