OLT to decide fate of former Guelph golf course development

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Victoria Village Park Inc. has filed an appeal with the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) after Guelph city council turned down a proposal to build stacked townhouses and a multi-storey apartment building on the former Victoria Park West Golf Club property.

An update on the OLT’s  website states the appeal is in the early stages and no hearing dates have been set.

In a letter of appeal submitted to the city, the developer stated “the proposed official plan amendment will allow for the provision of over 400 much needed residential dwelling units on this last undeveloped block of our client’s plan of subdivision.

“It is our client’s position that this application for official plan amendment is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement 2020 and in fact conforms with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the amendments to it.”

Council rejected the request to change for the OPA to high density from the current low density, as well as to increase the maximum height allowed from six to 10 storeys.

The developer was asking to build 308 four-storey stacked townhouses in 12 buildings and a six to 10-storey apartment building with 185 units on a 5.88 acre site, along with 644 underground parking spaces.

In a report to council, city staff called the proposal “over-development” and recommended council say no.

Planners advised “the applicant has not demonstrated that the proposed development can achieve appropriate transition to the surrounding low density residential lands, has not demonstrated compliance with urban design policies and guidelines, and has not demonstrated no negative impact to the adjacent Torrance Creek Provincially Significant Wetland.

“Taken together, these issues demonstrate an over-development of the subject site.”

The property is designated as “low density greenfield residential” in Guelph’s official plan. Permissible uses within this land use designation include detached, semi-detached and duplex dwellings, as well as multiple unit buildings such as townhouses and apartments. The maximum net density is 60 units per hectare and the maximum height is six storeys in this land use designation.

Staff said the proposed project:

  • is not consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS)
  • does not conform to the Official Plan
  • does not meet Official Plan Amendment criteria
  • does not represent good land use planning

“The subject site is not appropriate for the density and height of the development as proposed,” the staff report concludes. “The applicant has not demonstrated that the proposed development can achieve appropriate transition to the surrounding low density residential lands, has not demonstrated compliance with urban design policies and guidelines, and has not demonstrated no negative impact to the adjacent Torrance Creek Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW).”

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