Proposal from Mar-Cot Developments contains 43 units
Guelph council has had its first look at a proposal to build new apartment units across the road from a development that already contains hundreds more.
The application was received unanimously from council. No decision was made on the file, which will now go back to city staff. A recommendation on whether to approve the proposal will return to council in the future. There is no timeline on when that report would come forward.
According to documents posted to the city’s website in early November, Guelph-based Mar-Cot Developments is looking to build a six-storey, 43-unit apartment building at 1871 and 1879 Gordon St., just south of Poppy Drive West.
While the application describes the building as a six-storey project, a planning report attached to the application says it would technically be a five-storey building.
The report, prepared by Astrid J. Clos Planning Consultants, says the building would include four storeys of residences on top of two levels of parking — one fully underground and the other 50 per cent underground.
“The common amenity area building floor area located on the rooftop is considered to be another storey,” the report notes.
Asked by Coun. Mark MacKinnon why the developer didn’t just add additional units, rather than seeking a number of zoning amendments, Astrid Clos, the planning consultant appearing in front of council on behalf of the developer, said making the building taller would actually require additional zoning amendments.
“We felt this was a better approach and we wanted to keep the building lower, and we wanted to keep it as far away from those townhouse units as we could,” she added.
Responding to a question from Coun. Rodrigo Goller, Clos said the nature of the project itself would contribute to the city’s affordable housing targets.
“Because these are apartment units and they are typically part of what constitutes the affordable housing supply, even though they are at market value, because of the housing form and their size and construction, they actually fit within the affordability definition,” she said.
Clos added that according to provincial policies, a unit is seen as affordable if the owner or tenant is spending 30 per cent or less of their income on living there.
This proposal is the latest to come to this stretch of Gordon, just south of Clair Road.
Last year, council approved a pitch from the Tricar Group to build 540 units, spread over four buildings, across the road at 1888 Gordon.
As well, Thomasfield Homes’ South Hill project, an eight-storey, 88-unit condo building, has been pitched for the corner of Gordon and Gosling Gardens, just south of Mar-Cot’s proposal.
Construction on both of these projects is currently ongoing.
Earlier in the meeting, council approved a proposal for 84 townhouse units at 1657 and 1665 Gordon, less than a kilometre away.
A traffic impact study prepared by Cambridge-based Paradigm Transportation Solutions, found that aside from “specific movements at the intersection of Gordon Street and Clair Road registering increased delays and queues” during morning and evening rush hours, “this new project would not have a significant impact on traffic in the area.”
However, the same report also recommends implementing a transportation demand management plan which lays out a number of recommended measures to push future occupants away from their cars and to instead walk, cycle or take the bus.