Developer Pitches Townhouses Near New Guelph High School

  • 12/10/18
  • |          Guelph

If approved, project would see four houses torn down, with 66 new units in their place

A Waterloo-based developer is the latest to put forward a proposal for more places to live in Guelph — and it would be situated just down the road from a soon-to-be-built high school.

Posted on the city’s website, Crescent Homes has submitted a proposal to construct 66 new residential units on Arkell Road, north of Summerfield Drive. According to an accompanying planning justification report attached to the proposal, the four existing houses on that land would be torn down to make way for the new development, should it be approved.

The proposed development is composed of 34 townhouse units and two three-storey apartment-style walk-up buildings with 16 units each.

Some of those buildings would be built along a road that currently does not exist but once built would connect the Arkell and Summerfield intersection, north to Dawes Avenue.

Crescent Homes has largely stuck to Waterloo Region with its past developments, listing developments in Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo.

However, there is also a listing on its website for an Arkell Hills development, as well as a concept image identical to the one submitted to the City of Guelph for this application. It is unclear if this is the same project or if it is another one Crescent is working on.

A call for comment to Crescent was not immediately returned. Two attempts were made to email an address posted on the Crescent Homes’ website but emails were returned as undeliverable.

Aside from the four houses currently on this land, part of the property also overlaps with “significant natural features, including provincially significant wetland, significant woodlands, and potential habitat for locally significant species,” according to the environmental impact study included with the application.

“However, the proposed residential development area is largely limited to the southern portion of the subject property, and is dominated by planted trees and manicured lawn, and is outside of the natural feature boundaries,” adds the report, put together by the Waterloo-based Natural Resource Solutions Inc. (NRSI).

Another report, an urban design brief, states that there will be a 30-metre buffer between the northern edge of the development and the existing wetlands and woodlot.

The report identifies 339 trees that are on the properties — 206 would be cut down as a result of this new development, should it gain city approvals.

The proposed development is also down the road from another large building project coming Arkell Road’s way in the years to come.

Less than a kilometre away, east on Arkell, sits 18.5 acres of farmland that will be home to a new high school. In January, the province announced that it would be contributing approximately $25.5 million toward the new institution, which, when complete, will accommodate about 900 students.

At that time, Paul Scinocca, the director of operations for the Upper Grand District School Board, said he expected it would be between three and five years before the new school is built.

Another school, the K-8 Sir Issac Brock Public School, is also under a kilometre’s walk away.

This application will come before council for a public meeting, likely in the new year, as the next council meeting for development applications on Dec. 10 has already set its agenda.

This is the second development application that has come forward in the last week, with developers proposing plans to build on a vacant lot on Victoria Road South, south of Stone Road. That application came with two options: the first one would see 367 units, composed of 156 stacked townhouse units and 211 apartments units, while the second would see 400 units, composed of 108 stacked townhouse units and 292 apartment units.

The next planning meeting for council is currently scheduled for Jan. 28 at city hall, starting at 6:30 p.m.

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