A new neighbourhood association has seen a proposal for their residential street, and they say it isn’t right for them.
The new group, which is comprised of residents from Beechwood, Chadwick, and Hearn avenues, was formed to have a voice in what will become of the former home of the Optimist Club at 89 Beechwood Ave.
“When we found out the Optimist Club was going up for sale, there was some concern in our neighbourhood. We just wanted to know what was going to happen to the property,” says Cathy Darling, one of the group’s members.
“After it was sold, we found out that Granite Homes in Guelph bought it, and they very kindly had an information session for all the people … in the neighbourhood. We attended that session, and when they showed us the proposed development, there were just some concerns about the scale of the size of the building.”
Mike Taylor, Granite Homes’ vice-president of multi-residential, says that development is for 34 townhomes at the site, hopefully with underground parking “to keep the cars out of the area, because it’s next to a park”.
“We’ve only had one informal meeting so far,” Taylor says when asked if Granite Homes has discussed the new development with those already living nearby.
“We haven’t had a lot of conversation yet, but I think that’ll happen as we move through the process.”
Taylor adds that he looks forward to working with the association as the development moves forward.
He says he hopes that shovels will be in the ground in the next year.
Darling, however, says the size of this development would not work with the area populated mostly by single-family bungalows.
“We have a very small street. We have about 10 houses on Beechwood Avenue, about 20 people living on that street,” she says.
“When they told us they were planning 34 units three storeys high with balconies facing over Beechwood Avenue, we just thought that seemed larger than what we thought our street could accommodate. We already have parking issues on our street now.”
Darling adds that while the group is not against developing the site, members would like to see something more scaled-back.
“We thought something smaller, fewer units, perhaps two storeys rather than three storeys. There are lots of suggestions.”
Lindsay Sulatycki, a senior development planner with the City of Guelph, confirms that an application for development on the site has been submitted to the city, and it is currently in the midst of its 30-day review period.
“Once that is deemed complete, we will send out public notice in accordance with the Planning Act,” she says, adding that should be coming by the middle of August.
This review process is only to ensure that the application has been completed to the city’s standards.
After that public notice is issued, the public will then be able to submit comments before any final decisions by the city are made.