A dozen local residents attended the Public Meeting portion of the March 20th Council meeting to express their concerns over certain aspects of the proposed Nina Court subdivision extension proposed by the Veltri Group. The proposal covers a 28 unit block, and requests approval for the development of five detached homes and 26 semi-detached homes extending east from Nina Court, one block for a walkway, one for storm water management, one for open space and two blocks to be retained by the owner within a 13-acre parcel of land.
The most significant criticism of the proposed development stemmed from safety concerns and were unsatisfied with that the traffic study that demonstrated adequate capacity. All current and proposed traffic in this area relies on a single access road; Centennial Lane, which runs in front of Centennial Place. Local residents remember well their difficulties in getting in and out of their neighbourhood during peak construction periods of the Water Treatment Plant project last year, when traffic was sometimes limited to a single lane. Construction vehicles occasionally lined Centennial Lane, and several residents explained they had to ask people to move their cars in order to get their RV’s and boats through the street. This street also accommodates overflow parking requirements during events held at the school and the long term care home. More importantly, they expressed concern about the ability of emergency vehicles to access their residences, a concern which Fire Chief Bill Balfour has raised with Director of Planning, Karen Ellis. One resident suggested developing a second access point through Buckland Drive.
Residents were also concerned about the lack of parkland evident in the proposal. They remarked that since the arrival of the first phase of residential development in the area almost 30 years earlier, residents have used the proposed land as an access point to the adjacent creek and wetlands and wanted reassurance that they would have some sort of public green space for recreation.
Other residents were worried that the local schools would not have the capacity to absorb new students arriving from this new subdivision and the larger one on Fallis Line. The Kawartha Pine Ridge School District has advised that they are confident they will be able to accommodate students who move to these new residential areas. Millbrook South Cavan has just added five classrooms and will remove the portables in the next few months. One of the new classrooms remains unoccupied, supporting the claim that the school has room for growth.
As this was a public meeting only, no decisions were offered or expected, but given the level of discomfort in the audience, one of the neighbours Kevin Olinger suggested a second public meeting might be warranted. After some discussion, Council suggested to the developer’s representative that they might consider hosting an Open House to discuss ways to mitigate the concerns expressed. Council received the information and directed Ms. Ellis to proceed with discussions with the developer to find ways to address the concerns through normal channels and come back to Council with a new report incorporating these changes. KG