Controversial Oakville development proposal moving forward.
A controversial development proposal to build 35 three-storey dwellings in the space currently occupied by Cudmore’s Garden Centre in Bronte is moving forward.
Read the Oakville Beaver Article here
Vogue Wycliff (Oakville) Ltd., has made application to build 35 housing units on the site of the former Cudmore’s Garden Centre. The Bronte Village Residents Association (BVRA) opposes the proposal on the basis of excessive density in a stable residential area. Town Staff and Council, including both Ward 1 councillors, believe the proposed development is appropriate and acceptable. Due to COVID disruption, the Town’s review and permitting process has been delayed. Vogue has appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) for resolution.
The BVRA is a Participant in the LPAT appeal. The BVRA realizes that it is in an uphill battle regarding this application as both Ward 1 councillors are in favour of the application. Last year, at a BVRA sponsored Town Hall to a full house at QEPCCC, both Mayor Burton and Mark Simeoni as Keynote Speakers opposed the application as submitted. The second statutory meeting scheduled for March of last year never happened due to the pandemic. The developer subsequently filed his appeal at LPAT.
Quick overview: If we stick to the letter of the zoning bylaw, 17 residential units are called for. If we take the high end of the permitted range we arrive at 29 residential units. The developer wants 35 residential units taking this from low to medium density among a stable neighbourhood.
BVRA’s question is this, if this property existed in your neighbourhood, would you believe as it does that the current development application as written is inappropriate. If so, BVRA respectfully asks you to visit its website and to consider signing its petition. More details on the application are available there.
Oakville Council Position (Ward 1 Regional Councillor Sean O’Meara)
A public meeting was held in January 2020 where Council heard public input with respect to a number of matters including concerns with respect to increased traffic on Victoria Avenue, tree protection and heights of the units on the North of the property abutting Ward Court.
In March of 2020, the applicant appealed their application to the Local Appeal Tribunal. After receiving legal and planning advice with respect to potential outcomes at the Board and trying to achieve the best possible outcome to address residents' concerns, Council has approved a settlement that achieves the maximum benefit to the residents immediately neighbouring the site. This settlement secures a public entrance to Lakeshore Road to limit new traffic onto Victoria, reductions of height of the semi-detached dwellings to the north, as well as protection AND additions to the tree canopy that residents felt were extremely important.
The Livable Oakville Plan (at the insistence of the Province) allows for intensification subject to criteria related to neighbourhood character and transition. Specifically, section 11.1.8 of the Livable Oakville Plan defines the circumstances whereby lands within stable residential communities may be considered appropriate for intensification. Section 11.1.8(a) recognizes that lands designated Low Density Residential having the opportunity to be severed through a land division process may be considered appropriate intensification site, given that such intensification is compatible with the lot area and frontage of the surrounding area, and conforms to the policies of Section 11.1.9. Similarly, Section 11.1.8 (b) also contemplates opportunities for intensification, where sites comprise of existing non-residential uses.
Planning staff did not raise concerns with respect to either the proposed semi-detached units or town house units in this location.
I have been made aware of information circulating that the site is only zoned for 17 units which is incorrect. Here is a link to the Staff Report (item 3 on January 13, 2020 Planning and Development Council Agenda, supporting materials) which on page 8, outlines this property is designated Low Rise Residential and that allows for a housing density of 29 units per hectare; the site is 1 hectare meaning as of right, the property could accommodate 29 units including semi-detached units on the northern part of the site with no amendments to the Official Plan of Zoning bylaws required. The applicant was seeking an additional 6 units.
I believe this settlement to be the best possible outcome considering the Provincial mandate to grow and intensify. Council fully heard the resident's concerns about traffic on to local roads and worked hard to ensure an exit onto Lakeshore road to divert traffic away from the community. Our staff worked hard to protect as many border trees as possible and to have the developer plant additional trees above and beyond what is required.
If you have any questions or follow up to this I would be happy to speak with any and all residents. You can always reach me via email at email@example.com or by phone at 905-847-3987.