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Chapel Hill residents reject proposal for new townhouses Brier Dodge firstname.lastname@example.org
EMC news - Chapel Hill residents strongly opposed a proposed zoning change and development at 5911 Meadowglen Dr. that would see 54 townhomes built on the former Roger Bergeron and Son produce site. The turnout on Feb. 13 at the Orléans library was so high that residents had to leave with the promise of a second public meeting to be held in a larger facility. The major concern was the type of housing – higher density stacked townhomes – would not ﬁt with the current single family detached homes nearby. “They’re not saying no, they’re saying as it now, is it’s incompatible,” said André Thivierge, who is on an ad hoc residents’ committee, because the area does not have a community association to represent it. “There’s a huge contrast; it’s two planets. We want a development that is comfortable ﬁtting with the community.” There are currently townhouses across the street from the property on Orléans Boulevard, but residents argued their density is lower than what has been proposed by Domicile, the developer, for the Meadowglen site. The proposed townhomes would consist of six buildings with eight units each, and one building with six units. And residents are concerned that the contrasting townhomes at the entrance to the community will bring down the house prices for their sin-
gle-family homes. The entrance to the proposed townhomes would be located on Meadowglen Drive, with the homes backing onto La Chapelle Street. They are also bordered by Orléans Boulevard. In the development proposal, the developer said the location is appropriate for the stacked townhouses because of the location at an arterial and major collector road, and the proximity of the townhomes across Orléans Boulevard. “He can put that proposal forward; whether or not it gets approved is another story,” said Coun. Rainer Bloess. The proposal is still with city planners, who can make a recommendation to council. The residents used the meeting to voice their many concerns to Domicile representative, David Chick, the councillor and city staff. City planner Michael Boughton is the lead planner on the proposal. Boughton said in the 90 comments he received from residents, the top complaint was compatible character, followed by height and mass, trafﬁc and parking. He told residents that their comments “will have a lot of weight” in his evaluation of the application. The residents would like to see the city planner reject the proposal based on a city policy that says a zoning change cannot cause adverse effects. The city has a list of criteria to be used to determine suitability, which will deﬁne whether it would cause adverse effects or not. Several residents with homes near-
A meeting about a proposed townhouse development at 5911 Meadowglen Dr. had a much larger turnout than originally expected. The Orléans branch of the Ottawa Public Library meeting room is designed to accommodate 60, so some residents left and will attend a second public meeting still to be announced. by worried that the taller townhomes would allow a view into their backyards and properties, especially with balconies included with the units. They also worried that the one parking spot allowed per unit would not be sufﬁcient. Keeping with city standards of visitor parking per unit, there are 11 visitor parking spots proposed for the townhomes, up from the original six Domicile proposed. Residents raised issues with the trafﬁc studies, saying that they want new data entered for more peak times than the July data collected would have captured. There was also concern that putting in smaller townhomes would
attract more renters. Chick said that Domicile wanted to sell to people who want to live in the homes themselves, but Thivierge said they have no control over who lives in the units once they are sold. He said that the issue with renters is that they don’t always care for the properties as well as owners living in their own homes do. The city has encouraged development of inﬁll areas, expanding growth in already established areas such as the vacant lot on Meadowglen in the Ofﬁcial Plan. One resident asked Chick if Domicile would consider a different proposal with a lower density, but Chick said the company is “ﬁrm on the pro-
posal.” “It is important to work with us,” Thivierge said. “There will have to be compromises on our part, but you will have to compromise as well. He said that the company’s determination to see the current proposal constructed “scares the hell” out of him. The development proposal still needs to go to the city’s planning committee and to council for approval. “There’s an issue of social responsibility,” Thivierge said. “There are deﬁnitely people prepared to appeal.” There will be another meeting due to the large interest in the meeting, with the date and time still to be announced.
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26 Ottawa South EMC - Thursday, February 21, 2013
February 21, 2013