Residential/commercial development proposed for Bloomingdale

Plans for a small residential development in Bloomingdale will likely undergo some tweaking as the developers look to address concerns raised by government officials and neighbours.

Sawmill Development Corp. and Stevanus Developments Inc. have applied for changes to the township’s official plan and the zoning to allow six residential lots and a commercial/industrial property on a 13.3-acre site across from the community centre. The new subdivision calls for the residential lots to range in size from 1.63 to 1.85 acres, and a commercial property on some three acres.

At a public meeting Tuesday night, councillors heard that township staff, the Grand River Conservation Authority and Bloomingdale residents all have questions and concerns about the development.

Among the township’s issues is the impact drainage from the land will have on adjacent properties and the private wells from which people draw their water, noted director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley.

Such concerns are shared by neighbours, some of whom attended the meeting in council chambers and/or submitted written questions.

“We have concerns – we live directly downhill from the proposed development, so naturally we have a concern about water,” said Carl Zenger, adding he has questions about the construction and paving of Snyder’s Flats Road, onto which the development fronts.

The new lots, which would be serviced by private wells and septic systems, would also require drainage and stormwater management plans.

Megan Gereghty, GSP Group planner representing the developer, said the company would be addressing the issues raised, noting “more detailed designs are to come.”

She pointed out, for instance, that the goal is to place limits to the light industrial lot to be more compatible with existing residential neighbours, suggesting the land’s use for residential and employment lands is “pretty ideal.”

The project is tied into longstanding Woolwich plans to pave at least a portion of Snyder’s Flats Road and to rework the parking lot at the community centre to deal with drainage and pavement. Engineering staff has suggested doing that as part of a $1.3-million upgrade to a 400-metre stretch of the roadway in conjunction with the Region of Waterloo’s plan to reconstruct Sawmill Road in the village.

Kennaley said many details remain to be worked out, adding his planning staff would be responding to the lists of questions and concerns submitted by residents.

This week’s meeting was for information purposes, and councillors did not discuss the proposal. Kennaley noted staff would come back at a later date – likely at least a few months – with a recommendation report based on the applicants’ submission and public input, with council making the ultimate decision about the project.

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