Res­i­dents air con­cerns at OMB over Wa­ter­down de­vel­op­ment

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MAC CHRISTIE Flam­bor­ough Re­view

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.

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