16-unit townhouse plan would require Garafraxa access

A proposed subdivision in Fergus could see 16 more families accessing Garafraxa Street between Victoria Terrace and Gzowski Street.

The Jennark Homes proposal and draft plan of condominium was outlined during a public meeting on July 20. The zoning amendment requested would switch the zoning from ‘R2’ Residential to ‘R4’ Residential Exception, which would accommodate a residential development including eight stacked townhouses (16 units), a single detached dwelling, open space and parking.

The subject land is at 367 Garafraxa St. E. in Fergus.

Jennark Homes’ planning consultant Astrid Clos explained the zone change applies to 367 and 369 Garafraxa Street East. Clos noted to the north of the property are the Forfar apartments, to the east an environmental protection area and drainage channel, to the south single detached and semi-detached homes, and to the west Victoria Terrace Public School.

She said the zone change would allow stacked townhouses on the property.

One provision in the request is a minimum lot frontage of 10m (onto Garafraxa) while the current township minimum is 20m.

“There simply isn’t 20 metres of space to access the back piece,” Clos said, adding the plan provides 24 parking spaces and the common amenity area actually exceeds township requirements.

Clos said the proposed three-and-a-half storey buildings would be compatible with nearby developments.

The second purpose of the zone change affects the portion of the property known as 369 Garafraxa, which is the other half of the semi-detached structure. Clos explained that when the site is developed one of the semi-detached units will be demolished for the creation of a laneway to the townhouses – but the other unit would remain.

The rezoning would transform the building into a single family home, but with zero side yard. She indicated the original semi-detached units were constructed so they could exist separately.

She said an informal meeting was held on May 28 to answer neighbours’ questions.

Councillor Stephen Kitras asked about the proposed parking of 24 spaces, four of which are assigned as visitor parking.

He suggested if most families have two cars the number of spaces is insufficient.

“In this community most people commute … so this is a real possibility,” Kitras said.

Clos said anyone purchasing the units will be assigned a parking space. “If they have two cars, this is not going to be the home for them.”

Kitras also wondered if there was a roads study regarding the extra traffic going onto Garafraxa Street at such a narrow entrance.

Clos said no traffic study was requested by the municipality due to the relatively low density.

However, she added Wellington County may still request a traffic impact study.