Subdivision density reduced slightly; developer pushes back on county comments

KENILWORTH – VED Homes has reduced the number of townhouses for a proposed development in Arthur by a single unit.

Development plans were presented at a Feb. 21 public meeting for a 35-unit mixed housing development on 2.4 acres of land on the northeast side of the village, adjacent to a future Cachet subdivision.

According to those plans, three blocks, totalling 15 townhouses, would face a newly-built Adelaide Street, travelling east-west through the subdivision.

In the fourth block, situated to the south of the property, would be 20 clustered townhouses.

Following a comment made by Mayor Andy Lennox at the public meeting, suggesting more space be allotted for snow accumulation, VED Homes has amended its plan.

A single townhouse unit was removed from one block, and frontages expanded to five metres from less than four.

However, rear yard setbacks are now reduced by a metre-and-a-half to six metres, from the seven-and-a-half originally proposed.

“I [am] pleased to see the alteration on the one block to reduce the density a little bit and create some more space around the front yards there, so I think that’s a very positive step forward and I look forward to seeing this proceed,” Lennox said at a May 8 council meeting.

County planning staff also provided feedback suggesting a unit be removed from two other blocks, but VED Homes rejected the county’s comment, among others.

“We intend to keep the project as proposed,” a VED statement, provided by Patterson Planning Consultants, read in part.

“We would ask staff and council to recognize that VED Homes is being asked to complete 64 [metres] of roadway to finish Adelaide Street … It is a significant cost and the number of units is necessary to justify the cost of that roadway and ensure an economically viable project,” VED Homes stated.

The developer also rejected a suggestion that building height be lowered, stating, “We are well within the maximum.”

Comments from residents at the February public meeting, including Tracey Swift and Mike Linesman, were responded to by the developer in comments included in council’s agenda package.

Scott Patterson of Patterson Planning Consultants, said he had spoken to Swift about her concerns with water drainage issues in the area.

Names and signatures of 22 Conestoga Street North and Domville Street residents were attached to an April 26 letter expressing concerns with noise, parking, traffic, property damage, litter, trespassing, an increase in expenses for snow removal, water management, privacy due to building height, and, finally, property values.

“We are not opposed to this … we need you to be aware of our concerns and ensure that our concerns have been listened to and acted upon,” the letter stated.

“We all care about our community and want to ensure that the development in Arthur is the right development for our municipality.”

County senior planner Matthieu Daoust said he spoke to a resident who circulated the letter and was able to alleviate the resident’s concerns.

“At the end of the conversation, she was quite pleased with all the answers,” he told councillors.

The next step for the development is for endorsement of a draft plan of subdivision.