Can Thornhill Woods handle more development?
Tension is rising over traffic issues with 65 homes proposed on a new road
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