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Arthur residents express concerns about development of former school

by Kris Svela

KENILWORTH - A plan to redevelop the former public school in Arthur received less than a passing grade from neighbours of the planned   apartment-townhouse development at Monday evening’s Wellington North council meeting.

The plan has been before council previously and was first introduced almost three years ago.

Developer Gary Langen proposed rezoning of the property to residential-commercial to allow the construction of 39 townhouses and 67 apartments in the former school building. The plan also calls for some commercial space within the development.

Neighbors attending the council meeting raised concerns about the density of the development compared to established parts of the neighbourhood. Traffic, parking and whether the full development would be completed because there currently are not enough sewage unit allocations to service the entire development.

Dan Cotton of Eliza Street said he was concerned about the impact the development would have on the neighborhood.

“I feel right from the start this project is too dense for the surrounding area,” Cotton said.

He also raised concern about commercial development within the project impacting businesses in the Arthur core.

“I don’t see how the commercial aspect won’t affect downtown,” he said.

Planner Scott May, who represents the developer, said the plan is to build some of the townhouses along Eliza and Isabella streets and renovate the first floor of the former school as phase one of the overall development.

A plan to have a restaurant as part of the commercial space has been dropped due to concerns raised at a public meeting.

However, May said the commercial space could include a chiropractic office and hair salon, which could serve the needs of senior residents expected to move in to the development.

May said the density of the project already meets township regulations.

However, township planner Linda Redman said lot size and townhouse and apartment square footage would determine whether density regulations are met. The townhouse units also meet minimum parking requirements, she added.

Cotton and neighbor Judy Bannister also raised concern about on-road parking from the townhouses.

May said the development met township requirements on minimum apartment square footage and also included an additional 10 parking spaces on the school property.

“I’d like to see this property redeveloped as much as anybody,” councillor Andy Lennox said. “The property should be developed more like the surrounding area. The density is going to be a stumbling block.”

Lennox suggested the developer come back to council with more detail about the project.


November 25, 2011


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