Can Thorn­hill Woods han­dle more de­vel­op­ment?

Ten­sion is ris­ing over traf­fic is­sues with 65 homes pro­posed on a new road

Richmond Hill Post - - NEWS - By Jen­nifer Cheng

Two pro­posed de­vel­op­ments that abut each other and in­tend to build a to­tal of 65 sin­gle de­tached homes at Ruther­ford Road and Bathurst Street in Thorn­hill Woods have res­i­dents alarmed that big traf­fic prob­lems are in store for the al­ready con­gested neigh­bour­hood.

On Oct. 7, the City of Vaughan held a pub­lic meet­ing to dis­cuss ap­pli­ca­tions for zon­ing by­law amend­ments to per­mit 45 two-storey homes to be built by Sen­a­tor Homes (on land cur­rently owned by the Toronto Wal­dorf School), along with 20 three-storey homes to be built by Ca­chet Sum­mer­hill De­vel­op­ments Inc.

Both ap­pli­cants are propos­ing that the homes be lo­cated on a fu­ture pub­lic road that will con­nect Bathurst Glen Drive with Hes­pe­rus Road (and hence Star­wood Road).

“It’s go­ing to en­cour­age peo­ple to use that [new road] to go through the sub­di­vi­sion,” said coun­cil­lor San­dra Ye­ung Racco, adding that se­niors who live at Hes­pe­rus Vil­lage al­ready find it un­safe to walk on Hes­pe­rus Road.

Long­time Thorn­hill Woods res­i­dent Ja­son Ch­eskes said it didn’t help that most peo­ple were un­aware of this pro­posed new road un­til he ad­dressed it in a three-page let­ter that his kids dis­trib­uted to about 300 houses be­fore Oct. 7.

Still, Rom Koubi, chair of the Pre­serve Thorn­hill Woods As­so­ci­a­tion (PTWA), clar­i­fied that al­though most res­i­dents are con­cerned about traf­fic, they are in favour of this kind of de­vel­op­ment in terms of den­sity and char­ac­ter. “The prob­lem is the over­all pic­ture, when you com­bine the 65 homes with Sen­a­tor’s [pre­vi­ously] ap­proved 145 homes un­der con­struc­tion,” Koubi said. “And that’s ex­clud­ing the Jaf­fari [Com­mu­nity Cen­tre] ap­pli­ca­tion.”

The north­east quad­rant of the area alone has seen a to­tal of seven de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions so far, with Jaf­fari’s be­ing the big­gest, added Jor­dan Kalpin, vice-chair of PTWA.

Ye­ung Racco hopes the City of Vaughan and York Re­gion can work to­gether to come up with a rea­son­able traf­fic plan to al­low peo­ple to move through the sub­di­vi­sion in a safe and ef­fi­cient way.

Long­time Thorn­hill Woods res­i­dent Ja­son Ch­eskes, with Jor­dan Kalpin of PTWA, at the pro­posed site for both de­vel­op­ments

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