Plans for a 141-home subdivision in Elmira cleared another hurdle this week, as Woolwich council approved a zone-change application from Birdland Developments.The project, known as Southwood 3, involves the westward extension of South Parkwood Boulevard and the creation of lots for 84 single-family homes, 24 semi-detached houses and 33 townhouse units.
Councillors echoed traffic concerns raised by residents during a public meeting last spring and again in the fall during the previous term of council, with director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley noting both the township and Region of Waterloo are satisfied there will be few issues. Much of the concern centers on access from South Parkwood Boulevard, where making a left turn onto Arthur Street is already seen as problematic.
Even with projected traffic increases over the next 10 years, including a major development in the northwest part of town, traffic volumes will be manageable, he said.
“All of the roads were below capacity in terms of traffic on them,” he said of the traffic study carried out by the developer.
This stage of the development includes an emergency access route to Listowel Road, but regular traffic is expected to make use of South Parkwood Boulevard, as well as Pintail and Whippoorwill drives.
Responding to a question from Coun. Scott Hahn, Kennaley said construction traffic would be prohibited from using Barnswallow and Whippoorwill drives, using the emergency access route instead.
Douglas Stewart of Stantec Consulting, a planner for Birdland Developments, noted that the next phase – Southwood 4 – will include permanent connections to Listowel Road and Whippoorwill Drive.
Coun. Patrick Merlihan, noting he had lived in that part of Elmira previously, said residents’ concerns about traffic levels, particularly turning at Arthur Street, are valid, questioning whether the township has a contingency plan should problems arise during this phase of construction.
“We’ll be monitoring the … conditions there,” said Kennaley.