Hwy. 60 was a popular spot at Huntsville’s Nov. 11 planning committee.
At that meeting, committee approved two site plan development proposals on Hwy. 60. One, located at 203 Hwy. 60, involves the creation of a 59-unit multi-residential condominium development. The other site plan approved involves four Hwy. 60 lots (210 – 240), which would house a building with 84 apartments and a 260 m² commercial building.
The 84-unit apartment building would contain 36 two-bedroom apartments, 33 one-bedroom apartments, and 15 apartments containing one bedroom and a den.
“The additional housing coming to Huntsville is absolutely desired and I thank you for that,” said Councillor Bob Stone.
The four lots on which the buildings would be located comprise an area of approximately 1.7 hectares. Combined they have 287 metres of frontage on Hwy. 60, and 148 metres of frontage on Fairyview Drive, according to a report compiled by Huntsville planner Curtis Syvret.
“The intent of the applicant is to build the multi-residential building first in two stages, and then “the commercial is something that they hope, down the road, once they get the residential established, that there’ll be a complimentary use for the residents of that area. So he’s not so concerned about rushing that one forward,” explained John Gallagher, planning consultant for the applicant.
“There’s a real need for one-bedroom apartments throughout Muskoka right now so my client’s trying to deal with that issue there,” added Gallagher.
Committee chair Nancy Alcock asked whether any of the rental units would be considered affordable.
Gallagher said discussions are currently taking place with the District to determine “how we might be able to integrate some of that into the plan there.”
The property was the subject of a site plan approval in 2014. Pending some conditions, the committee at the time approved the construction of four commercial buildings on the property, instead of the two buildings now proposed.
Stone asked whether there would be amenity space for residents. Gallagher said there is an area behind the building where picnic tables and the possibility of a dog park is being proposed.
He also noted that there is a small playground in the Glenwood subdivision which only serves that subdivision. “There could be some opportunities to utilize that as well.”
Syvret suggested there could also be some inexpensive way to provide a parkette to serve the residents and said he could have those conversations with the applicant.
Alcock asked Gallagher whether he thought his client might be receptive to a small park area.
“I think so. My client wants to add a project that’s not only financially feasible but looks good and works well for the residents that are going to be utilizing that space, so there’s always opportunities to look at that,” said Gallagher, adding that there is also access to the Fairy Vista Trail and other parks.
Other discussions included trees along the Hwy. 60 corridor and setbacks from a creek that runs through the property. A rendering of the building was provided to committee in black and white and Stone said it looked liked a barracks. Gallaghers said that the coloured renderings (obtained by Doppler after the meeting had taken place) looked different.
According to Syvret, the applicant will also grant the municipality a three-metre right-of-way along the highway “for the construction of a pedestrian walkway for public use, with the timing of the walkway construction left to the discretion of the municipality. In exchange, a maximum of $45,000 in Planning, Building, cash-in-lieu of parkland fees are to be waived.”
Committee unanimously approved the site plan. All planning committee decisions must be ratified by council to take effect.
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