On September 22 Cramahe Now reported on a proposal to build a 14-unit, two-storey apartment building at the corner of Victoria and Arthur Streets in Colborne. Some of the residents in the area have concerns about the proposal. John Brunke is speaking to Cramahe Council on October 20 to express the concerns. A petition has been circulated and Mr. Brunke says it has 100 names on it. The petition is expected to be presented to Council on Tuesday by Councillor Tim Gilligan who lives nearby on Thornlea Crescent.
Mr. Brunke's presentation is below.
Proposal to Council October 20, 2009
The devastating news of a rezoning proposal to change land zoned for Community Facilities to Residential R3-H and build a 2-story apartment building on Arthur at Victoria Streets isn’t acceptable with neighbours.
On Tuesday October 13, 2009 an open meeting of concerned neighbours, the landowner, and the builder was held at the home of John Brunke. At the meeting, many questions were asked, and in the end, the neighbours did not receive adequate answers to their questions.
The builder proposed a 2-story apartment building consisting of 7 apartments with individual ground entrances facing the street, and 7 apartments on the second story that would be accessed via 7 outside individual steel stairways accessible only from the parking lot to each apartment. There was no plan for a common hallway on either floor, an elevator, or access for the disabled. Although both the builder and landowner suggested that the building was focused on seniors, they were not prepared to accommodate the many requests by neighbours to adjust the building plans according to the needs of seniors; mainly all doorways and common areas accessible by wheelchairs, an elevator, and a covered parking area. The pictures that accompanied their press release were not accurate, and were passed over by the builder.
A 14-unit 2-story apartment development in this area is completely out of character with the existing neighbourhood. We are concerned about what this will do to the value and image of single detached homes in the area.
Putting an apartment of any size goes against the feel of the subdivision and the surrounding area. It is not wanted and it does not fit. There's no transit in the area, it’s not near shopping, it's not near employment lands, and obviously, it's not fitting the current makeup of the neighbourhood. The school children have no other route, other than to pass the corner of Arthur and Victoria. A 2-story apartment will create more traffic and decrease safety on both Arthur as well as Victoria Streets. A bigger building will obstruct sightlines and the natural beauty of the neighbourhood.
The developers are trying to bend provincial growth policies to justify their own development plans. We have noticed a trend by property owners and developers alike to jump on the Community Improvement Plan of the Corporation of the Township of Cramahe bandwagon, fully intending to hijack these policies for their own purposes, and to rezone residential and community properties for the development of medium to high density dwellings, regardless of the future outcome to local residents. If people with large lots can turn around and convert Community Facility zoned lands to build apartments where there is single-family development, it's not good planning.
The application is inconsistent with the Provincial Policy Statement of 2005, Bylaw 08-18, and Cramahe’s Official Plan 2007, which designates land use. The Community Facility zoned area at the corner of Arthur and Victoria Streets has been approved at all levels of Government, and should remain as planned.
John Brunke - Concerned resident and presenting on behalf of the neighbourhood.