Revitalizing the industrial site at the corner of Huron and Alice streets is a welcome move, according to those living nearby who spoke before council Monday night.
However, there are some other concerns that would also need to be addressed in order to accommodate the slew of new residents making their home in the ward as a result.
“We have lots of pressures in our area with regards to traffic and parking already,” said Melissa Flemming, who has lived in her home on Manitoba Street, just south of the site at 120-122 Huron St., with her husband since 1992. Flemming added that when you include other nearby developments like Biltmore and Metalworks, there could be more than 1,500 people moving to the area.
“It’s exciting, but at the same time, it’s a little scary when you know how narrow some of our streets are and how we’re already dealing with some traffic and parking issues as it is.”
Another local resident, Joan Fenlon, talked about how the area’s narrow streets have already proven a problem for some.
“We have had overhead wires pulled down by trucks,” she said.
“Emergency vehicles have great difficulty navigating our streets, and due to on-street parking by commuters or downtown workers, the street is near impassable.”
Fenlon also showed pictures of an incident last week where a delivery truck came into the area and got stuck, later having to be winched out.
“This happens frequently,” she said.
Many of the same feelings were shared by councillors, who said that traffic issues would need to be addressed in the neighbourhood should the development go forward.
“As a consequence of this development, there is a high probability that traffic will increase on adjacent streets, which I think is inappropriate,” Coun. Bob Bell, who is one of the representatives for that area, said in council chambers.
“Traffic should be contained as much as can be encouraged on Huron Street.”
Coun. Dan Gibson, the other councillor for the area, suggested that developers should look at more creative methods of stormwater management.
Under the current proposal, there are plans for a shallow pond on the southern end of the site, sitting at a little more than 700 square metres. Removing that, Gibson said, could result in additional spaces for vehicles, thus keeping them off the narrow streets.
Monday evening’s meeting was called for councillors and city staff to hear feedback and any concerns on the proposed 86-unit apartment building, along with 96 stacked and cluster townhouses on the property.
The proposal will now go back to staff, who will come back to council with a report laying out recommendations on how to move forward with the project.