A 16-unit townhouse project proposed for Windermere Road already is raising neighbourhood concerns, said Coun. Maureen Cassidy.
Two buildings may go up at 536-542 Windermere Rd., wiping out trees on the lot and crowding some area homes, said Cassidy, the ward councillor.
The problem is a large watermain is located beneath the eastern portion of the site, meaning construction cannot happen there. The building will crowd the western part of the lot, and push up against homes, she said.
“There is a huge easement for a watermain beneath the site,” extending 19 metres from the eastern boundary.
“The development has to be pushed as far west as possible.”
The eastern portion of the site would then become a large parking lot and city politicians don’t like large, above ground surface lots, she said.
“I have concerns. I am not sure what to think,” said Cassidy of the proposed development.
The project will see two buildings, one facing Windermere Road and another directly behind it, each with eight back-to-back townhouse units up to 2.5 storeys in height, built on nearly one hectare of land, on two building lots.
A total of 25 surface parking spaces are planned.
“We are working with the applicant and neighbours to resolve issues. It is early in the process,” said city planner Michael Tomazincic.
The city’s development blueprint, called the London Plan, would permit townhouses on the site but the city “would have to work with neighbours to mitigate,” he said.
“The concern is it would include more density.”
The application was received in August and likely will go to the city’s planning and environment committee early in the new year.
“It has to be compatible with what is there. They have to co-exist,” said Tomazincic.
Two homes on the site would be taken down for the development. The application before the city is to rezone the land from allowing single-family homes to allowing townhouses.
The tree report in the application filed to the city, also states “every tree on the site will be taken down,” said Cassidy.
The townhomes would be located across the street from Scouts Canada’s Spencer Lodge.
A report on the project from private planning firm Zelinka Priamo for the builder, a numbered Ontario company, states most of the neighboring developments are single family homes, with a four-storey apartment building nearby, as well as a complex of three-storey townhouses further west on Windermere.
“The proposed development makes efficient use of underutilized lands well suited for increased density, and appropriately adds to the mix of residential dwelling types in the area to meet the housing needs in this area of London,” stated the builder’s report.
“The proposed townhouse units provide additional housing choice in the area.”