Mayor takes key role in growth

De­vel­op­ers look­ing for­ward to new ideas at City Hall

The Peterborough Examiner - - Front Page - JOELLE KOVACH Ex­am­iner Staff Writer

Some lo­cal de­vel­op­ers say they look for­ward to work­ing with Mayor Diane Ther­rien on projects to grow the city.

Ther­rien has ap­pointed her­self the city’s plan­ning chair, and also took a seat on the plan­ning ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee and the work­ing group that is help­ing to re­write the Of­fi­cial Plan.

De­vel­oper Paul Ben­nett said that was a “smart” thing for her to have done.

There will be growth in the city over the next four years, Ben­nett said, and there’s also a home­less­ness cri­sis.

Get­ting peo­ple housed is one of the mayor’s tasks to over­see, Ben­nett said, and he sees it as im­por­tant for the mayor to take charge in this re­gard.

“She (Ther­rien) is smart to do that,” Ben­nett said. “She’s got to be ac­count­able for those de­ci­sions.”

Dur­ing the cam­paign, Ther­rien spoke of how she’s in­ter­ested in “good de­vel­op­ment,” mean­ing apart­ments and af­ford­able hous­ing in ad­di­tion to sin­gle­fam­ily houses.

Last week she said it again at the Peter­bor­ough Cham­ber of Com­merce Busi­ness Sum­mit.

"I be­lieve in build­ing up – not out," she said, mean­ing she’d like to see apart­ments on the up­per floors of plazas, for ex­am­ple, rather than ur­ban sprawl.

Prior to the elec­tion this fall, Ther­rien said at a de­bate or­ga­nized by Peter­bor­ough and Kawarthas As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors (PKAR) and the Home Builders As­so­ci­a­tion at the Lions Cen­tre that sin­gle-fam­ily houses built out in "the mid­dle of nowhere" are out of style.

"You can't just build out for decades," she said.

Paul Di­et­rich, the pres­i­dent of Parkview Homes, says he’s on board with the idea of build­ing

more apart­ments.

The city is “un­der­per­form­ing” when it comes to keep­ing up with the de­mand for all types of hous­ing, Di­et­rich wrote in an email to The Ex­am­iner.

He’s plan­ning a cou­ple of apart­ment com­plexes – one to re­place the Pig’s Ear down­town, for ex­am­ple, and an­other on va­cant land he owns on Lans­downe Street W. just west of Spills­bury Drive – and he says he agrees the city needs houses but also “mid-rise” apart­ment build­ings.

“The lo­cal de­vel­op­ment and home-build­ing in­dus­try is in full sup­port of any ini­tia­tives to pro­vide more hous­ing forms for the city of Peter­bor­ough,” he wrote.

There could also be a chance for Peter­bor­ough to be­come a hub for eco-friendly build­ings.

Chris Mag­wood is a sus­tain­able builder and the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of The En­deav­our Cen­tre, a not-for-profit sus­tain­able build­ing school based in Peter­bor­ough.

He wrote that the city made a smart move when it le­gal­ized base­ment apart­ments; the new by­law also al­lows home­own­ers to cre­ate other sec­ondary suites in up­per lev­els or even ac­ces­sory build­ings on res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.

Mag­wood also says a lot can be ac­com­plished if there are mu­nic­i­pal poli­cies to foster the con­struc­tion of eco-friendly build­ings.

“I will be en­cour­ag­ing Mayor Ther­rien to have Peter­bor­ough adopt some reg­u­la­tions around low-car­bon de­vel­op­ment,” Mag­wood wrote.

“I’ve been work­ing with pol­i­cy­mak­ers in other ju­ris­dic­tions on this type of cli­mate-change re­duc­tion strat­egy, and would love to see Peter­bor­ough take a lead­ing role in this.”

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT EX­AM­INER

Crews work at a hous­ing de­vel­op­ment un­der­way in the city’s north end Fri­day.

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