Councillor’s demand for gates on Ancaster development sparks outrage
Change would ‘drastically increase’ common expenses
A city councillor’s insistence on adding “privacy” gates to a new Ancaster condo development has spurred angry blowback from many of the residents about to move in.
The Losani Homes development just off Garner Road is already under construction with some residents having already purchased units.
More than a dozen of those residents and others in the surrounding community sent letters and showed up at Wednesday’s council meeting to protest a proposed city requirement to install gates to the part of the development on a private road.
“I really don’t understand why the city would want to segregate this area,” wrote Kit Ward, who has purchased a home in the development.
Ward told councillors she’s worried the cost of the gates will add to her fees. “Adding a gate would not make it a community, it would separate us … I want to be part of the neighbourhood.”
The late insistence on gates for the development came from Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson, who couldn’t attend Wednesday’s meeting.
Ferguson earned planning committee approval earlier this month for the contentious idea. At that meeting, he argued the condo owners on the private road deserved a guarantee of privacy since they pay condo fees and won’t receive city services like snow removal.
“We’ve got to make this right for the people who are coming in there who will have to pay condo fees while their neighbours are not.”
On Wednesday, Coun. Matthew Green called the idea “appalling,” arguing Hamilton isn’t a place for “economic gated communities.”
Ferguson had asked that Wednesday’s council discussion be delayed until after he holds a community meeting to hear residents’ concerns.
Council voted 8-6 to revisit the issue after Ferguson’s meeting.
More than 22 nearby and would-be residents have written to complain about the changing rules for the condo development, which had its site plan largely approved last fall.
The property manager, Shabri Properties, also objected to the plan. The company wrote council arguing the change would “drastically increase” some residents’ common expenses and possibly cause emergency access issues.
Planning director Steve Robichaud said the proposed change came as a result of a request from Ferguson after his discussions with the developer.
Robichaud said many developments on private roads do not have gates, but a few have controlled access or “gateway features,” emphasizing there is no public access.
City planners typically do not weigh in on the issue, he said. “There is nothing in our planning policies or guidelines that would say they cannot do it.”
Adding a gate would not make it a community. KIT WARD HOMEOWNER