Sub­di­vi­sion plan a dis­ser­vice to ex­ist­ing neigh­bour­hood

The Woolwich Observer - - COMMENT - STEVE RACEY | ELMIRA

To the Ed­i­tor, FIRST OF ALL, THANK you for your cov­er­age of last week’s pub­lic meet­ing for the South­wood 4 project.

I would like to take is­sue with what Dou­glas Ste­wart of the IBI Group calls “good plan­ning for a com­plete neigh­bour­hood.” The first thing any re­spon­si­ble (home grown) de­vel­oper should ask is, “would I want a de­vel­op­ment like this go­ing up right across from my back­yard?” The re­sound­ing an­swer, of course, would be ‘no’. I get the feel­ing that this de­vel­oper, like so many oth­ers, takes profit as the main driv­ing force be­hind their projects rather than some good, old-fash­ioned com­mon sense.

OK, I get it. We have en­joyed farm­land be­hind our prop­erty for about 20 years now. We have known for a long time that de­vel­op­ment was go­ing to oc­cur across from our home. As an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist I also un­der­stand that we need to make bet­ter use of land to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment. What we weren’t ex­pect­ing was the ap­prox­i­mate 40 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion base of the project nes­tled right across from our back­yard.

Apart­ment build­ings are an eye­sore. While apart­ment dwellers are gen­er­ally re­spon­si­ble, many aren’t. Noise, garbage, traf­fic and the phan­tom gro­cery cart parked on the road are just a few of the prob­lems we will now face.

I’m puz­zled here. Why aren’t apart­ments be­ing built on the north end of town next to a brand new school? Kids from this project will likely have to be bussed. Why are the apart­ments be­ing built be­side an al­ready busy road? The town­houses and apart­ments could re­ally go any­where in the de­vel­op­ment but in­stead they are be­ing pushed right up against an ex­ist­ing, es­tab­lished neigh­bour­hood.

I sniff the old adage here: Bet­ter to push the lower-in­come hous­ing to­ward their side of the de­vel­op­ment and make it their prob­lem rather than a prob­lem for us. Apart­ments built right in the mid­dle of some nice brand new sin­gle-fam­ily homes won’t sell as well, which brings me back to my main point: it’s all about money and max­i­miz­ing profit.

A re­spon­si­ble home­grown de­vel­oper would cre­ate this project with as lit­tle im­pact on ex­ist­ing neigh­bour­hoods as pos­si­ble. I don’t be­lieve any of the fam­i­lies ex­posed to this project on Whip­poor­will Drive would have much to com­plain about if some high qual­ity, sin­glede­tached homes were built across from them. In­stead, we are be­ing force fed le­gal jar­gon about max­i­mum den­sity set down by the prov­ince.

It’s funny how these con­densed high pop­u­la­tion de­vel­op­ments never oc­cur right next to your favourite golf course.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.