Habitat for Humanity is proposing to build 14 back-to-back townhouses on three assembled properties at the north-east corner of Plains Road East and Glendor Avenue. Seven townhouses will have access onto Glendor and the other seven will have a shared access onto Plains. The proposal requires both an Official Plan amendment and rezoning. The area is currently zoned mixed-use and allows townhouses only when combined with commercial uses. The project does not exceed permitted height or density.
Habitat helps low-income families attain home ownership through sweat equity in constructing the homes, and through guaranteed mortgages. Traditionally, they’ve focused on single-family homes, but are more recently venturing into other types of buildings.
Habitat presented their plans at a public meeting June 5. Residents were generally supportive of the project, but not the back-to-back townhomes, and suggested that Habitat revise their project to standard townhomes, to provide back yards for the families and children moving in. Changing the project to standard towns may reduce onsite visitor parking, which residents generally felt was an acceptable tradeoff to achieve more greenspace, given the on-street parking available in the area.
Habitat agreed to explore the suggestion of standard townhomes and report back to residents. I will keep you posted of any changes to the plan, and opportunities for input.
The following studies have been submitted with Habitat’s application and are available online here.
- Functional Servicing Report
- Planning Justification Report
- Site Plan Survey
- Vegetation Management Plan
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact the city planner assigned to the file, Rebecca Tannahill at or 905-335-7600, x7641
**My Take:** Like residents, I’m supportive of the project but want the back-to-back townhomes changed to standard townhomes. That will increase greenspace on-site and provide a yard for families. In back-to-back townhouses, outside “amenity areas” can include second storey balconies, as the Habitat ones do, which are not an acceptable play area for a child.
Reducing parking in order to provide a child with a place to play is worth it.
Regarding changing the Official Plan and zoning to accommodate the project, the intent of the legislation is to preserve commercial along Plains Road, a worthy goal. However, this section of Plains is different from everywhere else – the road is elevated and setback from Plains Road by a grade separation due to the railway crossing. The properties in this section, though they have a Plains Road address, are more closely linked to the residential community than the busy Plains Road commercial corridor. This is a relatively minor change, and the residents were supportive of additional residential in this area, rather than more commercial uses.
Your Take: Do you support the project as is, or would you like standard towns instead of back-to-backs? Leave a comment below or email me at .