A long-term Car­rville Av­enue makeover

Plans for a new key de­vel­op­ment area at Yonge and 16th Av­enue forge ahead

Thornhill Post - - News - by Macken­zie Pat­ter­son

Town of Rich­mond Hill plan­ning staff has de­vel­oped a draft sec­ondary plan and is seek­ing com­ments from the pub­lic on the town’s plan that will shape the 39-hectare par­cel of land around Yonge Street and Car­rville Road and in­crease the pop­u­la­tion from around 200 to up to 14,600 peo­ple and add up to 8,500 jobs by 2031. The area was iden­ti­fied a site for in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion in the town’s 2010 of­fi­cial plan, and the first draft was in­tro­duced in 2015.

The sec­ondary plan for the area pro­poses di­rec­tion on char­ac­ter and den­sity of re­tail struc­tures, parks, trans­porta­tion and fu­ture de­vel­op­ment for the in­ter­sec­tion.

Patrick Lee, di­rec­tor of pol­icy plan­ning for the Town of Rich­mond Hill, said that, al­though there are no spe­cific plans as of yet, the town is look­ing to ur­ban­ize the area through mixed-use build­ings. He views the ex­ist­ing Hill­crest Mall as a vi­tal com­mu­nity re­source and ex­pects the re­tail to con­tinue to de­velop in the area.

“I think it will help the younger gen­er­a­tion build and grow their fam­i­lies.”

“The town would like to see ap­prox­i­mately the same amount of re­tail re­tained in the area but in a

more ur­ban for­mat that al­lows for

the in­tro­duc­tion of res­i­den­tial uses,” said Lee. Melissa Vara­calli, a Rich­mond

Hill res­i­dent who is mov­ing into the Beverly Hills condo build­ing at Yonge Street and 16th Av­enue by the end of the year, sees the re­de­vel­op­ment as a pos­i­tive change for the com­mu­nity. “I think it will help the younger gen­er­a­tion build and grow their fam­i­lies. We’re hop­ing to have our own fam­ily and raise our chil­dren in this area,” she said. “It will def­i­nitely bring peo­ple from all over to come and shop and see what’s new.”

How­ever, cur­rent home­own­ers in the area are wary about the changes to come. Res­i­dents along Spruce Av­enue in par­tic­u­lar take is­sue with the pro­posed town­houses that are planned for the north side of Spruce, fac­ing the ex­ist­ing sin­gle-fam­ily homes lin­ing the street.

“Right now, we’ve been happy liv­ing here for 30 years in our very quiet, ex­clu­sive neigh­bour­hood,” said Ron Widya, a res­i­dent of Spruce Av­enue. “The pop­u­la­tion in­crease is some­thing that we can­not con­trol, but it will af­fect the de­vel­op­ment of my neigh­bour­hood. When the town­homes are de­vel­oped, my prop­erty value drops. Au­to­mat­i­cally. ”

Af­ter a 30-day pub­lic com­ment pe­riod, the plan­ning team will re­vise its plans and rec­om­mend Rich­mond Hill Town Coun­cil ap­proval by Septem­ber.

Melissa Vara­calli, a Rich­mond Hill res­i­dent in front of Hill­crest Mall

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