Problems with proposed apartment towers
Re: Concerns raised over proposed towers on Courtland — Aug. 31
The story about the proposal to build four apartment towers on Courtland Avenue said that about two dozen residents attended a public meeting about the project. Based on this small number, it would seem that the community at large is not concerned about the proposed development. I believe this is misleading. What the reporter failed to note is that only property owners who reside within 120 metres of the development site received a letter of notice inviting them to participate in the meeting. This means that the concerns of hundreds of additional residents who stand to be directly impacted were not heard.
As an attendee of the meeting, I can say with some authority that the quotes the reporter chose to include did not reflect the nature of the concerns raised, which fell into five broad categories: environmental impact, the effects on traffic, additional noise as a result of the dense population, disruption due to construction and, most important, the height of the towers (which, for this region, is unprecedented).
The article states that “the parcel of land is surrounded by highrises, single family homes, patches of natural heritage conservation areas and general industrial zones.” What it fails to mention is that the land is, in fact, situated between two train tracks (the LRT and CN Rail), which raises concerns regarding safety. The story also fails to report that the proposed development site is located on a flood plain along Schneider Creek, which is a tributary to the Grand River. Attendees of the meeting were told that the GRCA will need to conduct a review of the amendment, but we were not informed of the progress (whether a review has been scheduled, if one is underway, or if one has been completed).
The whole process has been extremely disconnected. It would stand to reason that a review of the development site should be conducted and completed to determine if the proposed land is viable for residential development. Any amendment to an official city plan should be communicated more clearly with the public, and meetings intended to collect the opinions of community members should be open to all members of the community — not just the property owners who live within 120 metres of the proposed development site. Michelle Tremblay-Cusson Kitchener