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Oakville Town Council defers decision on Navy Street condo plan

January 21, 2010

(Source: Oakville Beaver )

Oakville town council has deferred a decision on whether to allow the building of a 13-unit condominium on the southwest corner of the Robinson and Navy Street intersection in downtown Oakville.  It’s understood that this was done to give the developer and area residents the opportunity to reach common ground on the structure’s design.

Situated within a stone’s throw of the Granary (built 1855), First Mayor of Oakville George Chisholm’s house (built 1848) and the Murray House Hotel (built 1857), the condominium’s proposed location has upset many area residents, who feel the building will offend the area’s historical nature.

“I am wondering how many of the councillors have visited the Robinson Street site and can imagine this box, 30-60 feet high, going straight up and not settling into the contours of the hill,” Marcia Todd, president of the Granary Board told council Monday night.

“This area is a prime reason why visitors come to Oakville and this architect is ignoring all of that. The heritage area is wonderful, but vulnerable. It is a part of Oakville that we do not want to lose. Please do not damage it with this building.”

The developer, 445312 Ontario Limited, has altered the original design of the building presented to council in 2008.

The new design features a 1.2 metre height reduction along the Water Street frontage with an overall proposed height sitting at three-storeys for the Navy Street frontage and five-storeys for the Water Street frontage.

The terracing along Water Street and the overall exterior design of the building has also been changed in an effort to make it more in keeping with the area.

The changes were seen as significant enough for Town staff to recommend the building’s approval, however, numerous public delegations still found it unsatisfactory.

“I think there has been progress. I think the fact that planning staff have created a much more effective terracing on the Water Street side is great, the alignment of the windows on the portion of the building that is along Robinson and Navy is complimentary to the Murray House, so there has been progress there. There has been a reduction in the different types of materials that were on one of the earlier proposals, so again we are starting to see better symmetry between the east blocks and the west blocks,” said Joe Sarnecki, president of the Oakville Lakeside Residents’ Association. “There are some further improvements that we feel could be made with a bit more dialogue.”

Sarnecki is hoping the building can be reduced in size, so it will not take up all the land on the property and thereby allow for the preservation of trees.

Residents are also concerned about the building’s proposed height and the shadows it would cast.

The developer and residents have until the Planning and Development Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, to come to a compromise.

If a compromise cannot be reached, the decision will again fall to council to either allow or block the development.

Read the entire article “Council defers decision on Navy Street condo plan” from the Oakville Beaver (January 15, 2010)

Ryan Chelak is a real estate agent in Oakville and longtime Oakville resident. Subscribe to my blog to keep up to date on local news, information, events and of course everything you want to know about Oakville real estate.

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