CAMBRIDGE — Council members heard a proposal for a mixed-use subdivision development on a parcel of land at the corner of Maple Grove and Hespeler roads Tuesday.
The 36-acre spot is open green space and is currently used for agricultural purposes.
The developer, Maple Mills Ltd., wants to build about 340 mixed residential units, an 89,000-square-foot commercial space and a small park.
“Adding the park was something we heard from the public,” Dave Aston, a consultant hired by the developer, told the members of the planning committee.
Aston said the developer is asking for changes to the city’s official plan as well as zoning amendments.
One thing to consider is that the land is designated open space.
Under the city’s official plan, this type of land can only be used for conservation, environmental protection and farming.
A belt of provincially significant wetlands outline one side of the parcel of land, along with Chilligo Creek.
It’s also close to the Chilligo Creek Conservation Area to the east, but a mix of low- to high-density residential areas, including another subdivision, also surround the area.
The developer’s draft plan says it will keep this portion of the land as environmental open space with a 30-metre buffer in place.
The 36-acre spot at the edge of Hespeler Road currently houses a single home, outbuildings and an antennae tower.
The 140-year-old farmhouse was contested for heritage designation for nearly two years.
In March, council gave the developer the go-ahead to demolish the old farmhouse to make room for the new subdivision.
But the old farmhouse and outbuildings on the site cannot be demolished until a building permit for the large project has been issued.
At the time, a heritage assessment deemed there was no heritage or cultural significance to the property.
Part of the reason was because of numerous additions to the stone structure.
Matthew Blevins, a city planner, said the city will need to look at the following considerations as they work on a followup report on the subdivision:
- Compatibility with surrounding and existing development;
- Official plan’s rules about multiple residential properties;
- Environmental impact;
- Site design, layout and traffic studies.
Coun. Frank Monteiro expressed concern about the plans to include a park in the subdivision.
“That park, who is going to maintain that?” he asked.
Aston said the park will be dedicated to the city so it will become the city’s responsibility to maintain the space.
Preliminary plans include a trail and play structure.
The draft plan was sent back to staff for a report and recommendation.