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Wellesley seeking public input for senior’s housing

The township is looking for public input on seniors’ housing initiatives proposed for Linwood and St. Clements.

Officials are exploring the possibility of redeveloping township-owned recreational fields in those communities to encourage seniors’ housing projects. They’re looking for suggestions about the type of housing seniors would favour, along with issues of densities and ownership models. The input will help council decide if it will move ahead with redevelopment plans.

Wellesley will be holding public meetings on November 12 and 13 in hopes of receiving feedback from residents. The first meeting will be held online from 7-9 p.m. on November 12, while the second will be held at the Crosshill council chambers from 2-4 p.m. the following day, allowing people to check out displays and talk to staff and council members about the plans.

For the in-person option, there will be a limit on the number of people – four to six – allowed in the building at any one time, chief administrative officers Rik Louwagie told councillors meeting October 27, adding that safety measures will be in place to protect all participants. Access will be adjusted depending on how many councillors attend.

“We’ll man someone at the front door so that we can control entrance and have access through the back door so that we’re not interacting and overlapping people. We’ll do whatever we can to keep the COVID protocols in place. So, if all of council wants to attend, I don’t see that as an issue for the distancing purposes, we will just control that at the door,” said Louwagie.

Given the small size of the council chambers, Coun. Carl Smit suggested the meeting could be moved to another venues such as the community centre to provide more space and allow more people to move around.

Louwagie noted, however, that there is only one display board, and residents will have just one opportunity to speak to people.

“In my opinion, it wouldn’t make a difference because people would still be waiting somewhere until they can come up to view those documents and or speak to staff and consultants or council. So,I’m not sure that a bigger venue would make a difference. The online session is really where the presentation will happen, that everyone can see all at once. And then the main purpose of the drop-in was for those people that are not able to join online and or have additional questions after the presentation that they’d like to ask in person,” explained Louwagie.

While staff would be open to moving the meeting to a larger facility, he noted the Crosshill building is located between Linwood and St. Clements, making it easier for those who wanted to travel for the meeting to take part.

More information about the public meetings can be found online at the township’s website.

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