The Woolwich Observer

HOUSING: Public feedbacks shows opposition to plan to convert recreation land in Linwood and St. Clements


said VanderBaar­en.

“What we have sort of confirmed out of this process is that there is a desire for existing township residents to stay in the community and have an opportunit­y to downsize and have appropriat­e housing that is seniorfrie­ndly.”

He says staff are now looking into alternativ­es for moving the project forward, including working with an existing landowner to create a developmen­t on their property that would include housing geared towards seniors.

In total, 434 residents responded to the survey and an additional 11 emails were sent to the township regarding the proposal.

VanderBaar­en says of the responses from the survey, the things which stood out most for him include a strong response to the need for seniors’ housing within the township, adding he heard “interestin­g comments” surroundin­g whether the land in the proposal was good enough for such housing.

“There was a fairly strong response that, yes, there is a gap in the housing options for seniors and there’s lots of long-time residents in the community that don’t need their big house with a big property anymore but don’t want to move to Kitchener, Waterloo or elsewhere. They want to stay in the community. There were some interestin­g comments as well around whether St. Clements and Linwood are even the right spots to have that kind of housing, because there aren’t a lot of ancillary services… a big grocery store, a doctor’s office, those kind of soft services that seniors need to take advantage of,”

VanderBaar­en added.

Resident Tony Koebel was one of the 11 who sent an email in response to the proposal. In his missive, he states that other land should be used for housing, arguing that the sports fields should remain where they are.

“I think back on all of the years we tried to get a second diamond and now, 20 years later, they want to go back to the way it was. You can’t run a ball tournament with only one diamond. I realize it doesn’t get a lot of use, but once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. I don’t know what the future in Linwood looks like, but I would not give up that land for housing. That would make the sports complex less useable. I feel we should keep our options open and keep the land for sports. I think we should find a different spot for a housing complex,” wrote Koebel.

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