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Municipal 2018
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Concern raised over plan for semi-detached home

by Mike Robinson

ELORA - A proposal before council could result in the construction of a semi-detached dwelling in a single-detached neighbourhood on Kertland Street in Elora.

On Jan. 29, a public meeting was held to get input on the proposed rezoning of 135 Kertland Street. The new zoning would allow a semi-detached dwelling.

Centre Wellington planner Mariana Iglesias said the property lies on the east side of Kertland Street south of Coloborne. She said site specific issues such as grading and drainage, tree removal/protection and driveway entrances would be dealt with the site plan approval stage in the future.

Speaking to the matter were adjacent landowners Ian Hornsby and Susan Thorning.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant was Jeff Buisman of Van Harten Surveying.

Buisman views the change as an opportunity for this property to contribute to provision of a variety of housing within the town.

He added this property is part of a larger property divided in recent years into several smaller properties.

Of those, 135 Kertland is the widest at 23m in width.

Buisman noted there are  other semi-detached dwellings on Kertland south of Church Street.

“I think this is a good fit for providing a variety of housing.”

Hornsby lives on Colborne Street but the deep lot means his property is adjacent to the rear of the lot in question.

Hornby stated that on the western edge of his property he has 18 trees.

He hoped that during the construction phase, excavation would remain far enough from the property boundary so the tree root systems is not severed. He said that during excavation for other homes in that area, the roots of six 60-year-old trees were severed when excavation took place, right up to the edge of the property line.

“I’d planted the trees with the intention of enhancing the property and the village.”

He asked that if potential drainage and excavation work be moved back from the property line.

Thorning lives in the house just to south of the lot being discussed.

“I’m not against change at all, but I really want to see wise development based on thoughtful decisions.”

Thorning said zoning bylaws are planning tools which layout the basic rules of development.

“When variations are made, it breaks those rules.”

Thorning said variations suggest “the decisions of the past were wrong, or no longer apply.”

Thorning said a council decision in favour of the change would set a precedent for future development in the area regarding infill or rebuilds. She noted that most lots in the area were surveyed prior to a 60-foot minimum lot width requirement.

In some cases, the lots far exceed that minimum width.

Thorning’s second concern was about how the new building would affect drainage. She alluded to narrow sideyards and a new building elevation four to five feet higher.

“We are concerned there is insufficient space in the side yard to prevent drainage onto our lot.”

She sought assurance that groundwater would be diverted and asked how that would be accomplished.

Buisman indicated he saw no reason for work to be done along the rear property line since there is a 10-metre rear yard setback. He stated a drainage and grading plan had yet to be undertaken, “therefore we cannot address how that would look.”

He also noted those issues are generally deal through the site plan process.

Iglesias added the zoning issue is the over-arching land use in the area.

“This does not preclude from someone coming in to try to change spescic zoning in one area - but it shows a generally pattern as to what is happening She noted that single detached and semi detached dwellings can exist in the same area.

Iglesias said rezoning application allows the public some input and to see if it is compatible and meets the intent of the official plan.

“Sometimes it is more appropriate to have a semi-detached built on a property rather than severing the property and constructing even smaller homes.”

February 9, 2018


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