Public meeting & vote: April 18, 6:30pm, City Hall
The proposed Queensway/Glenwood School Dr. development of back-to-back, traditional townhouses, and semi-detached homes is set to come before the Community Development Committee of council for a vote April 18.
When I met with city staff about this project, I shared residents concerns that this was too intense. Though there have been some improvements to the project since originally proposed – including a reduction in units, more greenspace, and increased setbacks – the project is still more development than what is allowed.
Worse, while this project was working through the system, the Official Plan was changed last summer to allow back-to-back townhomes which increases permitted densities. Most residents had no idea the change had occurred.
The bottom half of the site, facing Glenwood School Dr., is zoned residential low density and permits up to 25 units per hectare. The top half of the site, facing Queensway Dr., permits a minimum of 25 units up to a maximum of 40 units (for townhouses) or 50 units (for back-to-back townhouses).
The total area is a little more than a hectare, so when the two sites are blended the maximum allowable unit count would be 48 units under the current zoning (and less than that if the back-to-back townhomes are eliminated).
What’s being proposed is 58 units, 10 more than the maximum allowed. To accommodate the project, staff are proposing rezoning the entire site to medium density. Read the report.
Residents have repeatedly said they welcome multi-unit development on this site that is reasonable and respects current zoning. This project still doesn’t. And residents rightly ask why the maximums are even being considered here, in an area surrounded by single family homes on large lots.
Residents are constantly being told they must accept this type of intensification because of provincial Places to Grow legislation. However, that plan, as well as our own Strategic Plan, in section 3.2.C call for intensification to
respect existing neighbourhoods.
This doesn’t. There are six homes on the site now. A redevelopment project with even 35 or 45 units would satisfy the need for intensification, while respecting existing zoning.
You can register to speak about this project at the CDC meeting with the clerks office until noon on April 18, by calling 905-335-7600 or filling out a form. You will have up to 10 minutes to express your concerns. I can assist in preparing remarks and organizing residents.
We need the support of three other members of council to seek a reduction in the number of units. Let me know what you think, and also contact them with your views:
Ward 1: Rick Craven firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 2: Marianne Meed Ward email@example.com
Ward 3: John Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 4: Jack Dennison email@example.com
Ward 5: Paul Sharman firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 6: Blair Lancaster email@example.com
My take:Though there have been some improvements to the project since originally proposed, it is still too intense and does not respect the current zoning or character of the existing neighbourhood. I will not support it as proposed. Residents have said they would support a project that reduces the total unit count to conform to current zoning, increases greenspace, and eliminates the driveway onto Glenwood School Dr. (perhaps swapping it for a footpath).