"We keep putting in these single-family dwellings, when at some point we’re going to have to do townhouses and apartments,” said Coun. Carl Smit.
A small subdivision for the village of Wellesley got the go-ahead Tuesday night from township council.
The decision clears the way for development on a 4.8-acre plot just east of Wellesley Public School, on the north side of Ferris Drive where it intersects with Greenwood Hill Road.
The plan calls for 32 single-family homes, to be accessed by a new road and sidewalk system. A new recreational trail about 70 metres long is also planned to be built as part of the project.
The small subdivision will not include any parkland, however, despite concerns raised at a public meeting to discuss the development. That decision was made back in 2005, when the project was initially floated, because of the small size of the subdivision and the relatively close proximity of the parks at the nearby school. The township agreed instead to take a cash payment.
Councillors were largely supportive, but Coun. Carl Smit expressed some cautions about building more low-density housing in the township given provincial diktats about density and the resultant constraints demanded by the Region of Waterloo.
An emphasis on low-density housing today could see the township forced to build higher-density housing later to meet the region’s demands, he suggested.
“I just had one concern. We keep putting in these single-family dwellings, when at some point we’re going to have to do townhouses and apartments,” said Smit at the meeting.
“I just think we’re tying our hands if we keep doing this,” he added, in reference to low densities of the previous subdivisions.
Mayor Joe Nowak noted that with the smaller size of this subdivision, there were fewer options. A larger division, by contrast, could allow for more flexibility with different types of housing.
Township planner Geoff VanderBaaren, in an interview earlier, said that while timelines for construction were largely up to the developer, it was likely to begin sometime this year, perhaps in the summer or late summer. For its part, the township has requested, as part of the draft approval conditions, that the development be completed in a single phase.
He noted though that the work was unlikely to cause disruptions on the adjacent roads.
“I wouldn’t anticipate any,” he said. “No, there probably wouldn’t be because the service connections are already there for most of it so they don’t have to cut the road or anything like that.”
Council voted in favour of a list of conditions that the developer, Lotco II Ltd., would need to satisfy before it could push on with the project. The conditions will be forwarded as suggestions to the region, who in turn will incorporate them into the subdivision agreement with Lotco.