Neigh­bours un­happy with plans for Jakob­stet­tel prop­erty

The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE - STEVE KANNON

PLANS TO CRAM MORE than two dozen homes onto the land sur­round­ing the his­toric Jakob­stet­tel house have nearby res­i­dents feel­ing less than neigh­bourly.

They turned out in num­bers Tues­day night for a plan­ning meet­ing in Wool­wich coun­cil cham­bers, op­posed to a pro­posal to build some 27 homes on a 3.25-acre por­tion of the land at 16 Is­abella St. in St. Ja­cobs.

In let­ters sub­mit­ted prior to the meet­ing, res­i­dents raised a laun­dry list of con­cerns about the pro­posal, from noise and traf­fic vol­umes through to in­com­pat­i­bil­ity with the

her­itage value of the for­mer Jakob­stet­tel Inn and sur­round­ing neigh­bour­hood.

“Some­thing needs to be done with the place and the prop­erty,” ac­knowl­edged Gerry Dyck, owner of the ad­ja­cent prop­erty, adding the pro­posal is not an ap­pro­pri­ate way to de­velop the site. “It doesn’t fit the char­ac­ter of the neigh­bour­hood.”

Go­ing beyond a pro­posed her­itage des­ig­na­tion for the ex­ist­ing house, he sug­gested the whole neigh­bour­hood should be con­sid­ered.

His neigh­bour, Paul Kalbfleisch, said the plan does a “dis­ser­vice to this prop­erty,” not­ing the de­vel­op­ment would change the very na­ture of the com­mu­nity, not a good ex­am­ple of in­fill­ing.

“It’s go­ing to take a tran­quil, park-like set­ting and turn it into sub­ur­bia,” he said, not­ing that he left just such a neigh­bour­hood 23 years ago to en­joy vil­lage life in St. Ja­cobs.

Plan­ner Amanda Stellings of Polo­corp, rep­re­sent­ing own­ers Gold­enEye De­vel­op­ments, main­tained that the pro­ject would in­cor­po­rate de­signs in keep­ing with the neigh­bour­hood.

The cur­rent pro­posal calls for a 25-unit con­do­minium plan, plus a pair of semi-de­tached homes fronting on Is­abella Street. The cur­rent Jakob­stet­tel guest­house would be re­tained on a lot sev­ered from what is now a 4.2-acre piece of prop­erty sur­round- ing the home.

The condo units, served by a pri­vate road, would con­sist of 20 semide­tached homes and five sin­gle-de­tached houses, said Stellings. The units would be bun­ga­low-style homes of one or one-and­half storeys, mar­keted to peo­ple look­ing to down­size and to empty-nesters.

That’s too many units, ar­gued Is­abella Street res­i­dent Rob Duench, who aired con­cerns about traf­fic and the re­sul­tant noise from wedg­ing the new homes into the ex­ist­ing streetscape.

“The peace­ful neigh­bour­hood will be lost.”

Coun. Larry Shantz, too, ex­pressed some con­cerns about the den­sity of the pro­ject, for which 2306790 On­tario Inc. is seek­ing a zone change.

Stellings coun­tered the lots would in fact be quite large.

This week’s meet­ing was sim­ply an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion, with coun­cil­lors not mak­ing any de­ci­sions. They’ll now await a staff re­port that will be com­pleted once township plan­ners have stud­ied the ap­pli­cant’s re­ports and the pub­lic’s in­put be­fore com­ing back with a rec­om­men­da­tion.

Con­cur­rently with that process, Wool­wich is also push­ing ahead with her­itage des­ig­na­tion for the Jakob­stet­tle house, said direc­tor of en­gi­neer­ing and plan­ning Dan Ken­na­ley.

Many of the home’s fea­tures date back to the orig­i­nal 19th cen­tury build­ing and the early 20th cen­tury ad­di­tion that es­sen­tially dou­bled the size of the struc­ture. Work done in 1982, some of which al­tered his­toric fea­tures, won’t be in­cluded in the des­ig­na­tion.

FILE:C:\Users\Polo­corp\Drop­box\Polo­corp\LAND DE­VEL­OP­MENT LAST SAV

A sketch of the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment at 16 Is­abella St. in St. Ja­cobs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.