Where are the Western Development Lands and what is proposed?
These lands lie on the western side of Richmond Village. They run west from the western fringe of development in Richmond to the village boundary then north of Perth Street to the village boundary and south of Perth Street along Queen Charlotte crossing the Jock River to the CNR tracks and west to the village boundary. Two developers have submitted Plans of Subdivision to the City.
- Caivan Developments (planning submission) (as of May 27, 2014 this has achieved approval … see below) proposed developing the northern portion of the land with approximately 600 to 700 single family homes on lots with a minimum width of 9 metres plus 300 to 400 townhomes with minimum five-metre lot widths. There would be 31 streets and 1 park.
- Mattamy (planning submission) proposes developing a further 1,100 units on the southern portion of the lands consisting of approximately 848 singles, 172 townhomes and 82 back-to-back units on 32 public streets with two parks, a storm pond and a school block.
These two developments of up to 2,200 homes would more than double Richmond’s population.
What is the status of each proposal?
In brief, the Caivan proposal was appealed by Caivan to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
On May 27, 2014, the Ontario Municipal Board Chair, Mr. R. Makuch granted draft plan approval (with conditions) and zoning approval for Richmond Village (North) Ltd & Richmond Village (South) Ltd. (the CAIVAN companies) to proceed with development of the lands at 6335/6350 Perth St. This means development now has the green light so long as the two hundred conditions attached to the draft agreement are satisfied. Shovels could be in the ground as early as this time next year. See article http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/omb-hearing
There were 36 issues of contention centred largely on storm-water management, foundation drainage, sanitary sewers, potable water, flood plane, who pays for what, trees and subdivision layout. After intense negotiations occurred throughout the weekend and today the three parties were able to avoid a full eleven day hearing. The Chair was obviously pleased that the parties were able to come to a resolution and suggested that in the best negotiated settlement everyone is smiling but nobody is completely pleased!
So here are a few highlights outlining what was achieved:
First, Frank Cairo, owner of Caivan Developments, offered to reduce the number of units to be built on his land by 25% from the 1000 or so originally requested. He did this to address community concerns. That is a huge concession for which we must recognize Mr. Cairo`s flexibility and generosity. It will take a lot of pressure off roads, parks, schools, sewer etc., allow for more trees and space while providing a development more in keeping with the Village’s rural character.
Second, a foundation drainage solution was agreed that should reduce the dependence on sump pumps and provide for a safer, more energy efficient development.
Third, we placed conditions in the Draft Plan that construction would proceed in a manner that would protect not just municipal wells but also private wells in the Village.
Fourth, a condition placed in the draft approval strengthened the need for the development to follow the Community Design Plan and raised the profile of that plan.
Fifth, this plan has the potential to change Richmond forever and was very important to get it correct as it will likely set a precedent for plans to follow in Richmond and other rural communities.
More information will be posted here as this development progresses. Articles will be appearing in the community papers and general press. The RVA is also hoping to have Mr. Frank Cairo appear as a speaker during one of our fall general meetings.
The public meeting required by statute for the Mattamy application occurred on Sept. 12, 2013 in the Richmond Memorial Community Centre. The City is reviewing the proposal and working with the developer to identify and address outstanding issues. Now that the questions surrounding the Caivan development have been settled before the OMB it is expected that approval of the Mattamy proposal will not be far behind.
What are some of the issues raised to date by these development proposals?
City staff still need to:
- Include an estimate of the total cost of extending communal well services to the portion of the existing Village served by private wells;
- Recommend funding options for the extension of water service as referred to above, including possible creation of reserves from a new Richmond Development Charges By-Law.
- Complete an Environmental Assessment to assess the storm-water solution that would provide a review of the location of the storm-water pond, the collection system and foundation drainage.
Obviously, there are many issues around funding infrastructure upgrades, managing the impact of rapid growth on the village and the provision of transportation, parks, health, social and other community services for Richmond.
What is the position of the RVA on the proposals?
The Richmond Village Association Inc. welcomes and supports development so long as it is sustainable and brings benefits to the community while complementing the strong sense of community and historic character of the village.
We will work with the developers, the community at large and other parties to help ensure these developments bring the correct result for Richmond.