From tow­ers to town­houses

A Rich­mond Hill high­rise de­vel­op­ment gets a ma­jor scale back

Richmond Hill Post - - News - –– Jes­sica Wei

After four years of de­vel­op­ment limbo, an orig­i­nal pro­posal for two res­i­den­tial tow­ers at 370 Red Maple Rd. has been re­sub­mit­ted as a re­duced plan for a town­house de­vel­op­ment, slash­ing the num­ber of units by 74 per cent and the height from 16 and 18 storeys high to three-storey town­houses.

The sur­round­ing area has been iden­ti­fied as a key de­vel­op­ment area, and the Red Maple In­dus­trial Com­plex, which en­com­passes 370 Red Maple Rd., was po­si­tioned for more in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion. How­ever, the sur­round­ing condo dwellers were con­cerned about the height of the build­ing and the added traf­fic.

“Peo­ple were con­cerned about adding 400 or more ve­hi­cles on that sec­tion of Red Maple, which is al­ready over­bur­dened,” said Ward 6 coun­cil­lor God­win Chan.

The de­vel­op­ers sub­mit­ted their ini­tial pro­posal to the Town of Rich­mond Hill in 2012.

A res­i­dents’ com­mit­tee was formed to share in­for­ma­tion, and soon the mem­bers had a pe­ti­tion to present to Rich­mond Hill Town Coun­cil: 129 res­i­dents had signed pe­ti­tions, which were sub­mit­ted to a coun­cil pub­lic meet­ing on May 1, 2013. Brian Cave was an early and ac­tive op­po­nent of the pro­posal.

Chan worked with town plan­ning staff and coun­cil, and Cave ral­lied the ex­ist­ing condo community.

“To­gether we would work to­gether to see if we could ad­vo­cate for some kind of change or at least to have our voices heard,” said Cave.

In 2013, the de­vel­op­ers ap­pealed to the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board (OMB) and en­tered a me­di­ated set­tle­ment to come up with al­ter­nate plans that were more com­pat­i­ble with the ex­ist­ing plans for the area. A new pro­posal was re­sub­mit­ted in May 2015. This time, it was for 61 three-storey town­houses with 200 park­ing spaces and, in a unique twist, 66 spaces for bicycle park­ing, to en­cour­age the use of al­ter­na­tive trans­porta­tion in the area.

“Peo­ple would pre­fer noth­ing to be built there,” said Chan. “But hav­ing said that, I think it’s a re­ally huge ac­com­plish­ment.”

Be­tween these two pro­pos­als, the num­ber of units went from 396 to 103 units, and the re­vised pro­posal saw a re­duc­tion of 282 park­ing spaces.

“I thought once they went to the OMB, that was it,” said Cave. “I was very de­lighted that the little guy, for a change, won.”

This past Au­gust, the OMB ap­proved the set­tle­ment reached by the de­vel­oper and the town. A staff re­port on the re­vised de­vel­op­ment will be is­sued in the fall.

The de­vel­oper did not re­spond to mul­ti­ple re­quests for com­ment.

Coun­cil­lor God­win Chan in front of the pro­posed town­house site

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.