Residents air concerns at OMB over Waterdown development
Waterdown residents have aired their concerns before the Ontario Municipal Board about a 79-unit condo development planned for Dundas Street.
Mikmada Homes is the developer behind the project, which would be located on the current Connon Nurseries site.
On Monday, four residents told the board the proposed development poses traffic, parking and density concerns.
Cindy Mayor said more than 300 residents opposed to the project have written her letters authorizing her, Jim Duschl and Michael Hawkrigg to speak on their behalf.
Mayor said Dundas Street, Waterdown’s main east-west corridor, can’t be widened through the core because of heritage buildings along the road.
“Because of these heritage buildings, widening Dundas Street to accommodate more traffic is not possible,” she said. As a result, Mayor said, traffic along Dundas Street will become congested.
A bypass is planned for the area, but she’s skeptical it will reduce westbound traffic flows for those wanting to get into town.
Mayor said there are also visibility concerns for drivers heading east on Dundas Street as they climb the hill just before reaching First Street. The proposed entrance for the Mikmada development is just east of First Street. She also argued there’s not enough parking for the proposed development.
“We feel that this appeal should not proceed, based on the numerous traffic, parking and consequent safety issues.”
Mikmada lawyer Russell Cheeseman said the parking provided in the development plan allows for more spots than the bylaw requires.
Duschl said he was concerned about the density of the proposal.
“Our concern is that the developer is creating a living space that will interfere with our neighbourhood character and increase the amount of traffic congestion on the surrounding streets,” he said.
“There is very little in this proposal that is in scale with the existing neighbourhood — the density is too high for the location and the size of the property.”
Nathan Tidridge said he was worried about the development’s impact on the nearby Souharissen Natural Area. He said there aren’t many natural areas left in the community and Souharissen is one of them. He fears the development could have negative consequences to the area, as well as Grindstone Creek, in terms of pollution and run-off.
Cheeseman said the site is paved and stormwater run-off is designed to be contained on the site.
Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge noted the city, represented by lawyer Michael Kovacevic, is opposing the project for many reasons, including density, lack of green space and the location of the site at a traffic pinch-point, where Dundas Street narrows to two lanes.
The city also objects to the number of variances the project requires, specifically with respect to height, Partridge said.
The OMB hearing is expected to continue this week with closing arguments scheduled for Friday.