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Residents seek changes to Ghent site plan

To Council, Mon. Nov. 25, 6:30pm, City Hall

100 trees on Ghent coming down for development.
100 trees on Ghent coming down for development.

Residents are requesting several conditions be added to the site plan for the Branthaven townhouse project on Ghent Ave, covering such items as groundwater management and tree protection. The site plan will ultimately be decided by the Ontario Municipal Board at a hearing on the entire development, scheduled to begin Nov. 26, 10am at City Hall.  City council can direct staff who will be at the hearing to ask the OMB to approve some or all of the requested conditions.

In response to a motion I introduced at committee, staff have now reviewed and reported back on the proposed conditions; several “are supportable” with slight modifications, staff stated in a memo to council (available here).

Staff support:

  1. reviewing the groundwater monitoring after two years and extending to a maximum of five if deemed necessary; ensuring the wells are kept in good repair and replaced if damaged during construction;
  2. retaining trees until their removal is necessary for site servicing and construction; staging construction to minimize time periods when the site is cleared of trees;
  3. and using cedar trees instead of maples for tree replacements along the East edge of the property.

The full list of conditions requested by residents is below.

The memo will be discussed at City Council Mon. Nov. 25, 6:30 pm. I will be introducing a motion at council seeking support for the above conditions supported by staff.  Residents can attend the council meeting and speak, provided they register with the clerk before noon on Monday.

Meanwhile, two of the residents have withdrawn their OMB appeal of the project; to date the other resident has retained his appeal. The hearing is open to the public.

My Take: I support the modifications suggested by staff to address the concerns about groundwater monitoring, construction staging and choice of border vegetation.  I did not support the overall project and considered it too dense (58 units where 8 single family homes once stood), not in keeping with the neighbourhood character and lot patterns, and requiring removal of too many trees and greenspace. However, the suggested conditions on site plan will address some of the other concerns raised by residents.

Your Take: Do you support the conditions? Read what other residents have to say or leave a comment below.

Full list of conditions on site plan requested by residents:

1. Extending ground water monitoring from two to five years

2. Request a security deposit to provide remediation of offsite groundwater impacts from the development, including flooding or vegetation damage

3. Request off site monitoring wells for ground water impacts

4. Request staging of construction to times of the year that will minimize surface and groundwater impacts

5. Provide the resource of an arborist to assess the impacts on trees on surrounding properties as a result of the development

6. Seek deck/landing sizes no larger than the requirement under the Ontario Building Code

7. Ensure that trees planted on the perimeter of the property are of a similar size for privacy purposes to those being taken down, especially on the East edge of the property

8. Ensure trees are no closer to the property line than 1meter.

 

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

What's your take?