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Strasburg Rd apartment complex | 12 fl | ? m | Proposed
#1
Strasburg Rd apartment complex
Strasburg Rd extension 
Developer: Hallman Construction
Project: Two 12 story apartment buildings and several townhouses
Official plan amendment:  OP08/07/S/KA
Zone change application:  ZC08/26/S/KA
Location (local area)


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Location (development location)


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Site Plan

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#2
Strasburg Road snafu
November 27, 2014 | Melissa Murray | Kitchener Post | LINK

Quote:A revised proposal for a development on the future Strasburg Road extension has residents up in arms over the height of the buildings and the city’s consultation process.

If it wasn’t for a happenstance encounter with Coun. Yvonne Fernandes, Alicia Pokluda, who lives on nearby Rush Meadow Street, wouldn’t have known a new concept for the Hallman Construction development was being presented last week.

Pokluda was extensively involved in the consultations surrounding the extension, but because she lived more than 120 metres from the project area, she didn’t receive any notice about the meeting.

“I think it’s atrocious that it’s, ‘Oh well, it’s outside of the 120-metre area,” Fernandes said.

“And I’m thinking, wait a minute, these people have already been engaged in this process.”

Fernandes said engineering staff, who performed public consultation about the extension, and planning staff should have cross-referenced their consultation lists to notify as many people as possible.

“We always talk about [consultation], and we talk about all these surveys we are doing, but when it comes down to the hard nuts and bolts of listening to people and making sure they get out to a public meeting like that, we fall down.”

What’s being proposed is two 12-storey apartment buildings, as well as several townhouses, which will border the Strasburg Provincial Wetland and woodlot. The development will require an official plan amendment, as well as a zoning change, bringing the area from agricultural to medium-rise residential.

Although the plan by Hallman Construction has been revised, with the apartment buildings lowered by several storeys, residents say the towers don’t fit in with the established neighbourhood.

“It’s frustrating. If they have to develop that piece of land, fine, but be decent about it and don’t start shoving a couple of apartment buildings down our throat in an area that is a little bit special because of the forest,” Pokluda said.

“If Hallman could figure out (how) to put a group of townhomes in that area, that would be much more palatable … that, in my mind, would make sense — not what they are proposing there. I think towers of any height would be a total misfit.”

But Pokluda and neighbour Irina Trunov also have concerns about the impact the development could have on the neighbouring forest and wetland. It was a main concern during consultations about the Strasburg extension as well.

“This fragile environment will be destroyed. I think it’s not justifiable,” Trunov said.

“I am from Ukraine, and I feel like I am back in a communist country because everything is decided. Whatever we say, they don’t care. It’s already decided.

“It makes me very, very unhappy, because we want to preserve this very important piece of the environment, and I guess money is the most important thing,” she said.

While the development proposes a 10-metre buffer in order to protect it, a view of the woodlot from neighbouring developments is something that some homeowners paid a premium for. And that view would be obstructed by the two new towers.

Homeowners who purchased houses on nearby Newcastle Drive, whose properties have a view of the forest, inquired not only with their developer, but also the city about future development.

Some were assured their view would be protected.

“Needless to say, they have justification for being upset,” Fernandes said.

And Pokluda thinks some of those buyers might have thought twice about choosing the house they did since they had the wrong information.

“Anybody can ask themselves, ‘Would I have bought this property if I had known I’d be staring at two apartment towers?’ I don’t think so.”

Coun. Kelly Galloway-Sealock, whose ward encompasses Newcastle Drive, said she’ll be fighting for her residents’ interests and working with both sides to try to find a compromise, but she’s not sure if one can be found.

“I don’t know that we’ll get there,” Galloway-Sealock said.

“It’s a very delicate and difficult process, because you have two completely different interests on completely opposite sides.

“It’s difficult, because residents want to be heard, and they should be, because they’ve purchased their homes and they are the ones that have to live with what’s developed.”

But if council decides to reject the application for the zoning change and the official plan amendment, the city would likely have to defend itself to the Ontario Municipal Board.

“With the policies in place, from the province and Places to Grow (Act), it makes it a very tough sell to side with the residents, from a provincial perspective … The OMB may compromise, but it may not be as much as the residents want,” she said.

Senior Planner for the city, Katie Anderl, said the development is compatible with the city’s goals, but each is looked at on its own merit.

“From a planning perspective it does make sense to incorporate a range of different types of housing into every neighbourhood, so certainly it makes sense to consider,” Anderl said.

Galloway-Sealock said there is plenty of time left for public consultation as the development can’t move forward until the Strasburg Road extension is completed — which isn’t in the budget until 2020. However, with the sanitary sewer work starting next year, she thinks the developer might  fund the project, to advance its construction.

“I believe there will be strong interest in the development community to have that portion of the road completed at the same time,” she said.

But it’s something Fernandes is hoping won’t happen. “As a councillor, I would be absolutely against that. We don’t need to add any more roads. We can barely maintain the roads we have,” she said.
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#3
Quote of the day "I don’t want to see this destroy our neighbourhood"


Neighbours plan open meeting about Hallman development
January 21, 2015 | Melissa Murray | Kitchener Post | LINK

Quote:Concerned residents, who live near the future Strasburg Road extension, are organizing their own public meeting, after deciding the city fumbled communicating a proposed development.

A current proposal includes two 12-storey apartment buildings, with 12 units on each floor and several townhouses, which border Brigadoon Woods and the Strasburg Provincial Wetland.

The Hallman development will require an official plan amendment, as well as a zoning change.

The city and Hallman Construction hosted a public meeting in November, but only residents within a 120-metre radius were informed, leaving many without up-to-date information on the development.

Jeremy Grub, one of the organizers of the community meeting, said the purpose of it is to bring the neighbourhood up to speed about the current proposal, after many residents were not notified of the public meeting in November, and also to address some of the residents’ concerns, such as noise, pollution and shadows cast from the towers and traffic.

He hopes to present those concerns to council at a future meeting.

“This meeting is purely informational to let residents know what the proposed plan is for the rezone and basically gather some information before this all heads to council,” Grub said.

Grub, who purchased land on Newcastle Drive and built a new home to overlook the forest, is disappointed he was never told his view would be obstructed by medium-rise towers.

Grub said the city was “very co-operative on the Strasburg extension, but when we got to the discussion of Brigadoon Woods, they led you to believe the woods were staying in tact.

“You go from thinking you’ll have a wooded view with Strasburg Road running though it to apartments and townhouses, and just being completely misled,” he added.

But it’s not only how the city has handled informing residents of the development, it’s also the proposed development itself that has residents frustrated.

Grub said many residents are concerned about the environmental impacts the new development could have on the wetland and Brigadoon Woods, especially from salt runoff.

“We’re not saying ‘No’ to development, but we are concerned about the height of it and how close it is (to the woods),” Grub said.

“We want to make sure it’s going to be managed well. Why protect an area if it isn’t going to be managed properly afterwards?”

Grub also wants to ensure the feel of his neighbourhood is preserved.

“It’s probably not the right place for it; the residents don’t want it, it doesn’t fit into what our community is and our new Mayor Berry [Vrbanovic] is all about community and wanting it to thrive.

“Here is his opportunity to listen to the community with a well thought-out plan. I don’t know what that will do for Hallman Construction, but at least council will know what our community wants,” he said.

According to residents, this type of development doesn’t fit in the neighbourhood.

“This is totally inappropriate for our neighbourhood,” Alicia Pokluda said.

“Myself, my family and other people here like living in suburbia. Certainly we respect that some people want to live in density, but that’s not what we chose by moving here,” she said, referencing the two apartment towers under consideration.

She’s hoping the city will listen to her neighbourhood’s concerns and not “shove the development down their throats.”

“I hope the city respects us and that our voices count for something. I don’t want to see this destroy our neighbourhood … Otherwise, I’ll have to pack up one more time and move somewhere else,” she said.

Coun. Kelly Galloway-Sealock, said she’ll be attending the meeting to get a good grasp of her residents’ concerns.

“This is somewhat unique,” she said of the community meeting.

“It’s not something that happens really often, but they are rallying together, so they know what to push for.”

The meeting is scheduled for tonight, Jan. 22, at Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre, 150 Pioneer Dr., from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. More information can also be found on Twitter @ABetterKW.
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#4
(01-24-2015, 10:23 AM)rangersfan Wrote: Quote of the day "I don’t want to see this destroy our neighbourhood"

NIMBYs everywhere, amirite?
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#5
NIMBYism aside, it would be nice to see the forest fringe retained there (note, only going by the air photo here...I don't know the area well)
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#6
(01-24-2015, 10:23 AM)rangersfan Wrote: Quote of the day "I don’t want to see this destroy our neighbourhood"

Uh oh, just wait until the neighbourhood sees the updated rendering with the roof mounted laser cannon...
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#7
(01-24-2015, 10:23 AM)rangersfan Wrote: Quote of the day "I don’t want to see this destroy our neighbourhood"

But won't someone think of the children?!?!?!
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#8
General NIMBYISM aside I think an in depth study should be undertaken to see how the proposed development would impact the adjacent natural areas. As we grow as a region protecting our natural areas will only increase in importance.
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#9
For people who have bought on the outer edges of cities, for centuries they would have been sold on "views of nature," right up until the next suburb pops into that space, being sold on "views of nature" on their outer edge. Internally, unless you are right up against a truly indestructible area - Waterloo Park, NYC's Central Park - expecting that "views" will always be preserved is a bit much. I definitely want to see proper preservation of nature that's not for public sale/private development, but I don't believe in any fundamental right to a view, e.g. wholesale control over hectares or acres of others' property. Of course, I do believe in greenbelts, so maybe I'm not so clear cut.
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#10
(01-26-2015, 10:57 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: For people who have bought on the outer edges of cities, for centuries they would have been sold on "views of nature," right up until the next suburb pops into that space, being sold on "views of nature" on their outer edge. Internally, unless you are right up against a truly indestructible area - Waterloo Park, NYC's Central Park - expecting that "views" will always be preserved is a bit much. I definitely want to see proper preservation of nature that's not for public sale/private development, but I don't believe in any fundamental right to a view, e.g. wholesale control over hectares or acres of others' property. Of course, I do believe in greenbelts, so maybe I'm not so clear cut.

I recently read that golf courses were popular for that reason too. Sometimes developers put up non-viable golf courses attached to developments. Parks usually help too.

Laurel Creek is not far from my place. While we do cover up creeks sometimes, that is probably a good bet as well.

But I think that if you buy next to land that just happens to be undeveloped, well, you should sort of be out of luck when it actually gets developed.
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#11
(01-26-2015, 11:51 AM)plam Wrote: But I think that if you buy next to land that just happens to be undeveloped, well, you should sort of be out of luck when it actually gets developed.

Should this apply for any piece of property, even downtown?  Municipal government is supposed to balance the needs of existing residents and incoming residents.  Municipal standards are also supposed to help, but recently it seems like existing residents get the short shrift in favour of the development-flavour-of-the-day.  Official plans don't appear to be worth their weight much either.

Often if you stake an extreme NIMBY position, you stand a better chance of negotiating down to something reasonable rather than first staking a reasonable position only to see it negotiated away and ending up with nothing.
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#12
(01-26-2015, 12:37 PM)nms Wrote: Should this apply for any piece of property, even downtown? 

Generally yes. We are talking about underdevelopment here. If you buy  a lot next to a high-rise zoned lot, you have no right to complain when said high-rise goes up.
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#13
To be fair, the area was zoned agricultural. But to be fair, if you're well inside the built-up profile of the city, or adjacent to non-local roads, etc, it shouldn't surprise you to see more than 2 floor buildings.
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#14
How many people even understand the zoning restrictions for their property? How much pull do they have if they do not want their property or their neighbourhood rezoned?
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#15
Are there no height restrictions?
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