Neighbors object to building | Brockville recorder and time

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Neighbors of a proposed 48-unit apartment complex in southeast Brockville say the plan will create parking and security issues and go against the character of the area.

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“They are building way too cramped in too small a place,” one of the naysayers, Laird Weagan, told councilors on Tuesday.

The city council’s planning and operations committee held a public meeting on the proposal on Tuesday, highlighting the latest clash between attempts to intensify residential development and existing neighborhoods.

As always with public meetings, Tuesday’s virtual session was for comment only, with staff expected to return in the near future with a recommendation to the planning committee.

The proposed development would add a four-storey apartment building in vacant green land to the south of a former 25-unit apartment building south of the Ashley Estates condominium complex on King Street East at the intersection with Riverview Drive .

City planning director Andrew McGinnis said that while the proposed building would have three residential floors, it is considered a four-story structure by city standards because it has parking on the ground floor. -of the road.

The proposed apartment building at the east end of Brockville would be located in this green area south of an older existing building, viewed from Riverview Drive.  (RONALD ZAJAC/The recorder and the times)
The proposed apartment building at the east end of Brockville would be located in this green area south of an older existing building, viewed from Riverview Drive. (RONALD ZAJAC/The recorder and the times) jpg,BT

Dave Annable, acting on behalf of a numbered company that owns the land known as 245 King Street East, submitted the application.

The rezoning would, among other things, increase the maximum density permitted in the area and reduce required parking and minimum setback requirements.

Annable hired Fotenn Planning and Design in Kingston, who submitted a report concluding that the development “will introduce a compatible three-storey building with 48 infill residential units to the site”.

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“We believe the proposed development is consistent with the land use policies and strategic direction of the property and represents an appropriate form of intensification,” he adds.

Intensification, or adding residential units to already developed areas of the city, is a key planning strategy for City Hall as it continues to grapple with the current housing affordability crisis. by increasing the supply of housing.

Dave Nanton, planner at Fotenn, said the development presents a rare opportunity to add affordable and accessible housing in a suitable area without demolishing existing buildings.

In recent months, plans to “fill” housing in different areas of the city have repeatedly met with objections from neighbors of the proposed projects.

McGinnis referenced 69 opponents of the King Street East development.

Opponents of the plan hired their own consulting firm, Catena Consulting Services in Ottawa, which filed a report citing planning errors in the proposal and arguing that the development “is not in keeping with the nature and character of the region”.

The proposed building will create safety issues due to traffic, as well as service and operational capacity issues, and represents “an intensification to a level incompatible with the surrounding land use,” the report continues.

“The greatest concern and consideration is the application’s failure to address insufficient setback requirements, stepping and height sensitivities, parking and amenity spaces, emergency response requirements and site maintenance requirements,” the Catena report adds.

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The Cataraqui Area Conservation Authority, meanwhile, asked the city to defer the application to look into stormwater management at the site.

The many speakers at Tuesday’s session raised a variety of objections, including concerns that the height of the proposed building does not match the area and concerns about privacy on Riverview Drive with so many new residents being added to this space.

Weagan, who lives in Ashley Estates and is the chairman of the condo board, opposed any relaxation of parking requirements.

“We have a constant battle at our facility trying to prevent visitors from parking elsewhere, or residents who have guests coming to stay and constantly filling up guest parking spots,” he said.

Patricia Hungerford, who lives on Riverview Drive with her husband, Ron, cited the volume of traffic on King Street.

“With the addition of a 48-unit apartment building, we are concerned about the safety of increased traffic,” she added.

There is already “constant traffic” on Riverview to the existing apartment building, she said.

Richard Massey, who lives on King Street East, agreed that existing traffic on this stretch of the main thoroughfare is “busy enough”.

And Adam Bates, who lives on Riverview Drive, has expressed his displeasure with the current apartment building on the site, which he says hasn’t changed in appearance in the more than 25 years it has lived in the area.

“It’s always been run down and, frankly, an eyesore for the neighborhood,” he said.

“I fear that any new development will eventually fall into disrepair.”

Bates was unconvinced by Fotenn’s assurances that the new apartment building would blend into the neighborhood.

“The proposed development is not a soft fill that will fit perfectly into this parcel of land in this neighborhood,” he said.

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Lora M. Andrew