Developers are requesting the go-ahead from the township for the construction of 24 townhouse units on 2.7 acres of land at the corner of Nafziger and Gerber roads in Wellesley village.
Presenting their client’s concept for the currently vacant plot at a public meeting Tuesday evening, the GSP Group is requesting a zone change to allow for the creation of the new condominium-style housing.
The developers also requested councillors increase the maximum height of the homes, to 10.5 metres from nine metres, which several people found problematic.
“From a personal nature, maybe a little selfish, but when we purchased our lot 14 years ago, we purchased that lot based on the beauty of the sightlines, and believed that there would be no future higher development,” said a resident with a property overlooking the site.
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“So I would speak against the amendment to the building based on the – scarring is not the right word, that’s a little extreme – but based on the adverse impact on the sightlines, which we feel are so beautiful in our township.”
The resident also drew attention to the potentially dangerous intersection of Gerber and Nafziger roads, onto which the new development would abut.
Coun. Peter van der Maas also took issue with the height increase, though for other reasons.
“One of the concerns that we considered several times over the years is providing housing, especially for seniors. We like to talk about aging in place, but there seems to be very few places for them to live as they age in place,” said van der Maas.
“When I see a request to increase the height to 10.5 metres, I’m thinking they’re going to be like stacked townhomes, so that once again you miss an opportunity to provide housing for seniors. They would be, I think, better served by single-floor residences.”
Mayor Joe Nowak was more supportive of the overall proposal, saying the smaller homes filled a need for families and middle-aged residents in the township for more affordable housing.
“It’s an interesting discussion because I just received a request the other day for this type of housing that should give some consideration, mainly because it’s likely going to be less expensive to buy one of these units. We have a lot of young people, first-time home buyers, that would be more likely to be able to afford something like this,” he said.
Tuesday’s meeting was for information purposes and for public input, with no decision being taken by councillors. Township staff were directed to review the comments and concerns raised during the meeting, and return to councillors with a recommendation report at a later date.