Opposition to connection of Poplar Drive to proposed development, changing it from a dead-end street to a through road, catches the attention of council and consultant
Proposals for a subdivision on either side of Yonge Street, north of Mapleview Drive, ran into an early roadblock as residents used a public meeting on the project to raise concerns, including traffic congestion, loss of open space and wetlands, and impact on property values.
Brandi Clements of Jones Consulting Group Ltd. presented, on behalf of the owner, 3251586 Canada Inc., the proposal to rezone about 33 hectares on either side of the GO Train station, to permit the development of nearly 1,000 housing units, including block/cluster townhouses, stacked townhouses, street townhouses, and 3-5 storey apartment buildings.
The project as proposed would also include a single storey retail/office commercial development.
Following the presentation residents lined up at the microphone to speak against various aspects of it, particularly a proposal to connect Poplar Drive, off Pine Drive, to the development, turning Poplar, and Pine, into a through access with eventual connection to Hurst Drive and points downtown.
That didn’t go down well with residents. A homeowner on Poplar told general committee that he had spoken to many of his neighbours in the area, and found general agreement on the issue.
“In one way or another each one seems to be opposed to what is proposed in this development.”
Mayor Jeff Lehman assured residents that council had heard their concerns. Comments from Clements also indicated the residents may have won the day.
“We are willing to work with staff on not having a through connection in that area … it’s not critical,” she said.
Poplar Drive was described as a “short, dead-end street” adjacent to open space and wetlands, with one resident saying that most people bought homes there to enjoy a quiet lifestyle.
“Development is inevitable … but I can’t imagine why council would want to approve this development in its current state. Most of us purchased our homes because this is exactly what we were looking for.”
The possible connection of Poplar was the feature of the plan that garnered the most comment, but additional concerns were raised. Keegan Smith, speaking on behalf of the Hewitt’s Creek Neighbourhood Association, said residents were concerned about traffic congestion, lack of emergency services, and busy schools.
“We believe the need for development must be balanced with the impact on the environment and the needs of the community.”