Public Meetings: August 14, 2019

Hello, and welcome to a special focus on a public meeting item coming up at the August 14, 2019 Middlesex Centre Council meeting. Next week there will be a public meeting regarding a proposed official plan amendment and zoning by-law amendment for a proposed retirement community consisting of two 5-storey buildings at the southwest corner off Komoka Rd and Glendon Dr, behind the Petro-Canada gas station.

Aerial View of the Proposal

The full site is 5.9 hectares in size, is currently zoned A-2 (agricultural), is within the settlement area, and would be serviced by municipal water, and wastewater services.

On the face of it, I do see some merits to the proposal including:

  • Adding a new housing type to the area, allowing seniors to age in place rather than moving to London or Strathroy.
  • Maintaining the pond and beautifying the property.
  • Based on the language used in the planning justification report, adding a rental option for retirees vs. full ownership or condo style.

On the other hand, I have questions like:

  • When did 5 stories become the new norm? It feels more like developers are simply using the maximum height available whenever possible rather than using critical design thinking or taking the provincial policy statement to heart where it states:

Planning authorities shall identify appropriate locations and promote opportunities for intensification and redevelopment where this can be accommodated taking into account existing building stock or areas, including brownfield sites, and the availability of suitable existing or planned infrastructure and public service facilities required to accommodate projected needs.

Ontario Provincial Policy Statement, 2014
  • The existing building stock in the area reaches a maximum of 2 stories, maybe 2.5 given the height of some of the neighbouring single family dwellings to the west. I would argue that 3 storey buildings makes more sense.
  • How does this play with Tridon’s proposed retirement apartment community at the northwest corner of their Kilworth Heights West development? That site is zoned for a building that could reach as much as 9 stories, but hopefully will be closer to 5 or 6 in an area that is more dense by design.

So, no decisions have been made, and I doubt any decisions will be made next week. However, given the recent outcry by 10-15 individuals on social media, I’m expecting another firecracker of a public meeting next week.

If you would like to attend the meeting and make a comment or statement, or ask questions, please do take the time to review the reports provided. You can find them below. Before that, a few more photos of the proposal. More are available in the planning justification report.

Here are the reports to be reviewed next week. The public meeting portion of the evening will start at 19:00 (7pm).