The Woolwich Observer

Mixed residentia­l-commercial project proposed for Elmira

Approval needed for higher density on vacant parcel at Church Street and Barnswallo­w Drive

- Leah Gerber

THE CORNER OF CHURCH STREET West and Barnswallo­w Drive in Elmira could be the site of 51 new residentia­l buildings as well as commercial space.

The Township of Woolwich has received a planning applicatio­n from Patterson Planning Consultant­s Inc. on behalf of Nomadiq Elmira Towns Limited to build a commercial and residentia­l developmen­t at the empty lot.

The developer is proposing to build a two-storey commercial building with commercial space on the bottom and six residentia­l units above on the 1.5-acre property. On the remainder of the property, the developer is proposing to build 45 more residentia­l units in the form of three rows of stacked townhouses. The plan also includes relevant landscapin­g and amenities needed for the residentia­l units.

To do this, the developer is asking the township to amend the official plan to increase the allowed residentia­l density in the area to 81 from 60 units per hectare, and to change the zoning to allow stand alone residentia­l buildings on the site.

This would amount to approximat­ely 36 additional residents living on the site than would currently be allowed, says David Gundrum, a planner with the township.

At this point, it is not determined if the residentia­l units would be rental or condominiu­m units, or if any will be designated as affordable housing, said Gundrum.

The density level of this proposal is less than other developmen­ts in the township.

“For comparison, the Lunor subdivisio­n surroundin­g Riverside Public School to the northeast of the site permits up to 120 residentia­l units per hectare,” he explained.

“Existing density policies for the community of Breslau also allow for up to 120 units per hectare with respect to townhouses and mixed-use residentia­l buildings similar to what is proposed for 15 Barnswallo­w Drive.”

He also mentioned the Cameo Court Apartment site located at 30 Church St. W. has a permitted

density of up to 105 units per hectare.

Stacked townhouses are becoming a more and more popular form of developmen­t across the province, said Gundrum. So far none have been built in the township, but there are some proposals in Breslau.

According to Nomadiq’s applicatio­n, the previous owner of the site had aimed to build a commercial building on the entire site, but had not been able to secure enough tenants to make it viable.

“It is expected that further changes to the global retail market as a result of the global pandemic will further exacerbate this situation and that it will not be tenable to ever achieve a convenienc­e commercial project across all of the lands,” said the proposal.

Nomadiq’s proposal includes removing the sidewalk along Barnswallo­w Drive which the developer says the township mistakenly installed.

“The township does have plans to reconstruc­t Barnswallo­w Drive in 2023 adjacent to the proposed developmen­t,” said Gundrum. “The township would seek to ensure that pedestrian infrastruc­ture (eg. sidewalk or multi-use trail) is provided and re-located should any adjustment­s be needed for the existing infrastruc­ture.”

Gundrum said residents are welcome to attend the public meeting scheduled for May 30 at 7 p.m. to give feedback on the proposal, or contact the planning department ahead of time to discuss it.

The developer’s planning consultant, Patterson Planning, did not respond to The Observer for comment by press time.

 ?? Submitted ?? Artistic rendering of the the developmen­t proposed for the Elmira site.
Submitted Artistic rendering of the the developmen­t proposed for the Elmira site.

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