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Oakville Real Estate News : Residents oppose luxury condos on Reynolds Rd.

April 6, 2009

Residents of the Reynolds Road area of Downtown Oakville gave a proposed 9-storey development a unanimous thumbs-down during a Monday session of the Planning and Development Council.

The developer, Rosehaven Homes Ltd., and Melrose Investments Inc., has called on council to alter the zoning at 153 & 157 Reynolds Rd., to permit the construction of a 9-storey apartment building, which would house 28 luxury units.

“These units will be a luxury size, 2,000 to 3,000 square feet and up and we will certainly be in the financial range $1.5 million per unit,” said Clifford Korman, architect for Melrose/Rosehaven.

“All the parking is below ground, visitor and owner.”

The description of the building did little to ease the concerns of nearby residents who took to the podium one after another and blasted the developer’s proposal noting that such a structure would cause a host of problems.

Area resident Lorne Spark is trying to sell his home, but said the process has become much more difficult in the face of the looming development.

“When they (potential buyers) hear of plans to build a massive structure within very few feet of my premises, in fact in front of my front door, they tend to run in the opposite direction and if I was in their place I would do the same thing,” said Spark.

“It doesn’t belong shoehorned into a residential neighbourhood.”

Reynolds Road resident Don Lawson called on council to enforce the existing bylaws and restrict the developer to building a two-storey building on the site.

Other residents also brought this issue forward with some expressing confusion and anger over council even listening to the developer’s presentation.

Councillors explained that all proposals, no matter how ridiculous, must be given a hearing under Ontario law.

With that legal reality grudgingly accepted area residents continued to approach the podium and present their objections.

Ann Haxell, who spoke on behalf of a number of residents at a nearby apartment building housing many seniors, expressed concern over the traffic she felt the building would bring to the area.

“We already find we have considerable traffic on this street generated by the hospital. It is sometimes difficult to get out of the driveway of what is predominantly a seniors’ building,” said Haxell.

“It seems that the standards have fallen considerably and Oakville is losing its charm with a building of this proposed height and construction. I’d also like to mention it borders on the old Oakville heritage area. We do feel the modern project really doesn’t fit into the area at all.”

Steve Harrigan had a number of problems with the building noting area residents would lose both privacy and sunlight through its construction.

“This proposed building will allow its residents to view our rooftop terraces and not only will they be able to view us in our private times, but they will also create a shadow that will be there for most of the afternoon,” said Harrigan.

“A lot of our residents have wonderful gardens and those gardens will be destroyed by the amount of shade they will receive.”

Korman addressed the shadow issue earlier in the meeting noting that due to the design and size of the building, nearby residents would only experience an hour to hour and a half period where there homes would be in shadow.

Harrigan did not believe this argument and called on council to keep the zoning for the area as it is.

“It seems to me the only reason the developer wants to have the site density increased is pure greed,” said Harrigan.

“The developer knew the zoning when the property was purchased and should have to live and develop the property with the existing bylaws and zoning as any good corporate citizen would. The maximization of profits is not a compelling enough reason for change.”

With all opinions on the development heard the town voted to accept the comments and directed staff to take them into account when deciding whether to endorse the developer’s proposal.

Source: Oakville Beaver

By David Lea, Oakville Beaver Staff


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