Neighbours Skeptical Of Change In Parking Plan

  • 11/20/17
  • |          London

A townhouse development in Masonville should bury more of its parking underground, a neighbourhood group says.

Rise Real Estate of Ancaster has been waiting since 2015 to break ground on two apartment buildings from four to six storeys and 18 townhome units on the west side of Richmond Street south of Hillview Boulevard.

A request by the developer to reduce the amount of parking at the site to 148 spaces from 176 required by the city is the cause of the latest delay in the project.

Bill Davis, president of the Old Masonville ratepayers’ association, said he’s less concerned with the number of spots than he is with their location.

“The original plan is to have more underground and now they are reducing the amount of parking,” while adding more spaces above ground, Davis said.

“We want less above ground, there will be more noise, traffic and headlights shining into homes,” if vehicles park above ground, he said.

Rise Real Estate is proposing to create about 88 parking spaces above ground. Davis would not put a figure on how many the association wants underground.

But the association supports the development, saying it would be better than the unsightly vacant lot left when after five single-­family homes were taken down.

“We have come to terms with the density proposed. We’re comfortable with it. We support it,” Davis said.

“In fact, we are anxious for it to get started and hope it’s sooner, rather than later. We have been involved in this since 2004.”

The plan calls for two apartment buildings fronting Richmond with 242 one- and two-bedroom units. At the rear of the property a strip of two-storey townhouses totalling 18 units would be constructed.

The plan doesn’t include a medical building being constructed at the corner of Richmond Street and Hillview Boulevard.

Rise Real Estate’s parking requests will go to the city’s committee of adjustment today because the parking change needs to be approved with a minor variance.

“The development as it stands now is based on long-standing discussions with the community and a compromise with that community,” said Coun. Josh Morgan, whose ward includes Masonville.

“It is at an important stage now.”

“They could start building now, but they wanted to do the variance before they proceed,” Morgan said.

The project site has a long history. In 2004, the original development plan submitted by ­developer ­Farid Metwaly ran into neighbourhood opposition because it consisted of a series of multi-­bedroom ­townhouses geared to students.

After Rise Real Estate took over the project, community meetings achieved a compromise that provided for safeguards for the neighbouring residential community.

The Masonville project is Rise Real Estate’s second project in London. The company completed Luxe London, a $55-­million 19-storey apartment building near the Western University gates, last year.

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