Thanks to everyone for your comments on the By-law and Zoning change application for Silver Maple Developments. The following comments have been forwarded to the City for consideration:
RE: Proposed Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment D01-01-17-0007 & D02-02-17-0034
The Richmond Village Association circulated copies of the proposals to residents for comment. Generally, people want to see this development move forward. Nevertheless, there have been verbal concerns expressed that the quality of the units and construction need to be of a high level to respect the standards outlined in the CDP and the quality standards being established by new homes in the adjacent neighbourhoods.
The following specific comments are provided for your consideration and action as appropriate:
- We understand the proponents “Planning Rationale” seeks a unique or modified approach to established zoning to allow for condominium and apartment buildings as a use, with some exceptions for institutional and local commercial uses.
- If the proponents proposal is granted what prevents the proponent from simply using the entire development as “apartments” i.e. does the retirement residence component have any significance in law or regulation? Can the City enforce institutional use for that portion of the development?
- How many “retirement units” are being constructed? The “Planning Rationale” on page 5 states “The retirement home as a whole will include a total of 124 units spread over the 5-storey and 3- storey sections. The retirement home is proposed to be 8,619 square metres in gross floor area.” In contrast, the “Site Concept Plan” calls the 5 & 3 story buildings “Apartment Buildings” and the numbers of units cited are 86 units covering 7297 square meters. Which numbers are correct? Are they retirement units or simply apartments? Have the correct numbers been used in the required estimates for site sanitary sewer servicing, water demand etc.?
- The “Planning Rationale” states:
“The surrounding context of the site consists of a mix of developing low-density residential, commercial, rural and recreational spaces. The location and scale of the buildings proposed within Phase 2 are situated to transition most appropriately from each of these areas. The commercial buildings with the lowest height and which are closest to the public right of way are positioned closest to the street and the existing low-density residential and commercial areas. Meanwhile, the highest building is proposed to be located furthest from these low-density areas. The location of the entire development alongside the community park is an ideal opportunity for increased use of the park by the residents, while park users themselves may benefit from future retail uses in the proposed commercial buildings.”
- We see no evidence of a plan for a public path or bicycle path to, from and through this development to facilitate access and egress to the park or the proposed commercial facilities. Access must be provided if the proponent’s statement of benefit quoted above is to be fulfilled. Furthermore, such pathways are generally envisioned in the CDP and are necessary for pedestrian safety and to promote liveable/walkable communities.
- Further to this a local resident questioned whether a portion of the development fees could be allocated directly back into the village to support the further developments of bike lane access (beyond this development) for the surrounding communities? Richmond has always been a destination for road bike enthusiasts and anything else to be added will only help further support our local businesses and community.
- The proponent proposes reducing the setbacks on a portion of the east side of TALOS Circle from 9 meters to 3 meters to allow more space for the proposed commercial establishments.
- Is this necessary or desirable from a point of view of safety as well as the aesthetics of the street scape. A local resident wrote “As someone who makes daily use of Nixon Farm Dr. to walk to the bus stop at the corner of Perth and Nixon Farm Dr., I am concerned about the extra traffic that will be driving by me as I walk down the side of Nixon Farm Dr. since there is no sidewalk to use. Over the winter it is very dark in the morning and having people walking on the road with all this extra traffic will greatly increase the risk of someone being run over.” Furthermore, if City Transit eventually services this facility the pedestrian traffic as well as a suitable area for a bus shelter need to be considered.
- Finally, this development will bring more residents and traffic.
- This development coupled with the growing buildout of the TALOS, Cedarstone, and Moore St. area developments is notable. Is it time to review the need for transit service to the village outside of peek commuting hours? What will the trigger be for improved service?