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Wellesley gives go-ahead to townhouse development over neighbours’ ongoing concerns

A planned 50-unit townhouse development in Wellesley village continues to raise concerns from residents, with opposition surfacing again at Tuesday night’s virtual council meeting.

In a split decision, the township approved the condominium plan nonetheless.

In a written submission, Jamie and Karen Gerber raised issues relating to impacted privacy and lack of access for emergency equipment should the development at 1016 and 1018 Doering St. get the go-ahead.

“The only space we have for privacy is our backyards. This access easement will increase backyard traffic, having a detrimental impact to our quality of life,” wrote the Gerbers.

“The condominium development has narrow streets that limit access to emergency equipment and could at times be impassable because of parked cars,” they added.

A second letter was also sent by Stan and Fran Klassen agreeing with the issues raised by the Gerbers and adding that some residents have already decided to move out of the community.

“This is only a taste of what is to come, especially with a self-regulated, extremely dense subdivision. One neighbour has already sold to avoid a devalued, noisy property,” wrote the Klassens.

The lone vote against the project came from Ward 1 Coun. Shelley Wagner.

“I am not a big fan of the density that is pushed by the province in the region, as far as developments in the rural towns,” said Wagner.

The planned development originally called for 61 units but was later reduced to 50 after pushback from council. Wagner said she believes that 50 is still too much and will bring incompatible higher densities to the area, noting the decision now rests with the applicant.

The project submitted by 2046680 Ontario Inc. (Jim Flynn) calls for the construction of 46 townhomes and one semi-detached unit  to go along with a pair of existing single-family homes that will be retained. The development will take place on 7.75 acres of land.

“At the end of the day, that would be up to the developer if they’re going to try to lessen anything,” said Wagner. “But as far as the township is concerned, [the 50 units] has been passed. The way they’ve got it set would be what they can go forward with.”

Where the township would normally expect a five-per-cent parkland dedication, or cash in lieu, in a development, Wellesley is accepting a two-acre strip of land in the floodplain along the east side.

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