Planning committee backs ‘stacked townhouse’ development

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The city is considering new types of development to help solve the housing crisis.

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The city’s planning and administration committee is supporting a zoning bylaw amendment that would allow construction of three townhouse blocks consisting of 30 stacked units at 9 Garden Ave.

If approved at an upcoming meeting of City Council, it will be the first development of its kind in Brantford. Stacked townhouses are units that share a common side wall and are stacked vertically with two units on top of each other. The lower unit occupies the ground floor and basement and the upper unit occupies the second and third floors. Upper units will have a balcony and terrace and ground floor units will have an outdoor patio. Each apartment is accessible by an exterior entrance.

A report from the planning department indicates that the site is expected to be developed as a condominium, although the city has not yet received a condominium application. The units are expected to be listed between $375,000 and $475,000.

Planning staff are recommending the project for approval, saying it will “introduce greater population density that will support local businesses and public transit in a compact and efficient form.”

“The proposed development is within walking distance of existing public transit routes and several services and amenities, which reduces the number of vehicle trips required by future residents and helps to lessen its environmental footprint,” said Nicole Wilmot. , the city’s chief urban planner.

Wilmot said “infill development” is proposed for underutilized land. She said it also addresses a recommendation from Ontario’s Housing Affordability Task Force that municipalities provide more mid-density development, known as the “missing middle”. Other examples are lane homes, garden suites, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, townhouses, and low to mid-rise apartments.

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However, some area residents have raised concerns about balconies that would overlook the terraces of neighboring bungalows, increased traffic, and what they see as insufficient parking for the stacked townhouses. A total of 53 parking spaces are offered, which is 13 more than the minimum number required by the city for the size of the development.

“Parking is an issue for me,” Mary Lou Rutter, who lives on Colborne Street East, told the planning committee. “There is a huge influx of development on Garden and Gray streets. I can see a ticketing nightmare in no parking zones.

Com. Dan McCreary, who opposed the development, said the townhouse units, which have easy access to Highway 403, will be purchased by commuters.

“They’re going to want to park,” McCreary said. “You are going to have conflicts. You’re going to need more than two cars per unit, which isn’t the developer’s fault, it’s our fault for not recognizing that we’re a suburban community and not Metro Toronto. We will always be a non-transit oriented community. Our parking rules are far too lenient.

But Mayor Kevin Davis said the city needs to plan for the future.

“Do we want to do something about the housing crisis or not? he said. “The way you deal with the housing crisis is to build housing and find the right balance between the needs of the neighborhood and the need to solve the housing crisis.”

Davis said that as owning a vehicle becomes more expensive, more families will opt for a single car.

The mayor said medium-density development reduces the use of agricultural land to build housing.

“We have to build differently than we did in the past,” he said. “We just need to use the land more efficiently and better.”

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