Developer says all units of six-storey project fall under city’s definition of affordable rentals
Councillors have unanimously approved a new apartment project the developer says will bring more affordable units to the south end of Guelph.
Under the proposal, Reid’s Heritage Homes is looking to build a six-storey, 93-unit apartment building at 98 Farley Dr., immediately north of the Zehrs plaza at Clair and Gordon.
Scott Hannah, a project manager for Reid’s Heritage Homes, told councillors Tuesday evening that all of the building’s rental units would fall under the city’s definition of an affordable rental unit.
“We are going to have 93 affordable units within walking distance of a number of amenities,” he said.
“We expect both the one- and two-bedroom units will fall in the affordable category.”
The city’s definitions for affordable housing line up with the province’s. For rentals, it is defined as the least expensive between a unit where rent does not exceed 30 per cent of gross annual household income, or a unit that is for rent at or below the average market rent in Guelph.
On Monday evening, councillors unanimously approved new affordable housing targets for the city. Under that plan, 30 per cent of all new residential units — 25 per cent would be owned units, four per cent are secondary rental units and one per cent would be primary rental units.
Secondary units include property owners renting out their own condos or basement apartments, while primary rentals are units designed as a rental unit, such as an apartment building.
The development approved by council is an update over the one that was the subject of a public meeting at city hall in May. At that time, Reid’s was proposing a five-storey, 92-unit project. However, that was changed so that it would better fit within the land’s zoning regulations.
“The building is proposed to be shorter in length but a floor higher, which allows the proposal to meet zoning regulations for parking and provide more common amenity area on site,” a report issued in August, when the revision was filed, reads.
Along with getting the land rezoned for residential from its current specialized community shopping centre designation, the developer was looking for a number of zoning amendments, including a higher maximum density (105 units per hectare, up from 100), smaller minimum side yard (5.5 metres to the northern lot line, down from 7.5), a smaller common amenity area (1,530 square metres, down from 2,060) and allowing a portion of the common amenity area to be in the front yard on Gordon Street.