After various modifications, on January 13 Huntsville’s planning committee approved the siteplan for a 33-unit bungalow townhouse development at 18 Legacy Lane.
The plan has been modified through the years. Originally, the plan for the estimated 1.8-hectare lot called for a four-storey multi-residential building, townhouses, and semi-detached dwellings. Access to the development was also planned from Centre Street through a right-of-way on Legacy Lane as the property has no road frontage. But surrounding residents expressed concern about safety due to an increase in vehicular traffic and the overall density of the proposed development, as well as how high the multi-residential building would be.
Planning representative Wayne Simpson later returned to committee with a modified plan on behalf of the developer. The plan is now calling for a maximum of 33 bungalow townhouses, the maximum allowed under the property’s existing zoning, no multi-residential building, and access to the property from Hanes Road. The developer has also purchased 46 Hanes Road and is requesting a land swap with the Town for a small piece of property owned by the municipality which is located between 18 Legacy Lane and 46 Hanes Road. In exchange, the developer would give the Town a strip of land on the west side of 46 Hanes Road, which would be more conducive for a walking trail along that side, according to municipal planning staff.
The development at 18 Legacy Lane will now form part of a larger phased condominium development which will include the property at 46 Hanes Road.
Access to the 33 proposed townhouse units will be provided off Hanes Road across 46 Hanes Road as well as the Town-owned block the municipality has granted the developer in exchange for a block on the western boundary of 46 Hanes Road abutting an unopened road allowance, according to a report submitted to committee last week by manager of planning Richard Clark.
He said in terms of lighting plans, staff has requested that additional information be provided to verify that exterior lighting fixtures are dark-sky friendly.
A traffic impact brief was also provided in support of the development. “The traffic impact brief looked at combined traffic impacts from development on both 18 Legacy Lane and 46 Hanes Road, and this study concluded that the cumulative impact of additional residential units on both properties would not adversely impact the operation of the surrounding road network,” said Clark.
The report noted that the stormwater management for 18 Legacy Lane would be provided by an existing stormwater management facility to the north and the east “which was constructed at the time the Muskoka Commerce Park development was constructed.”
Councillor Bob Stone said the development was dense and wondered how plowing and the storing of snow would take place. Clark said he would follow up with the developer with that question but said it would likely be a private contractor.
Further questions were raised by Deputy Mayor and committee chair Nancy Alcock and Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano regarding the possibility of a walking trail in the area related to the property swap.
Clark said there are two trails being considered. There’s a proposed walking trail to the east which would connect through an easement onto Legacy Lane. “So they are proposing to include that as part of their development and what I was suggesting is that they should also consider connectivity to the south, towards Hanes Road. So they are not currently proposing that,” noted Clark, adding that that discussion is still pending. “And from what I understand in our preliminary discussions on that, they do feel that maybe there’s an ability to work with the Town because of the land swap and the fact that this area that they’re exchanging and giving to us is a north-south corridor along the western property boundary so I think they’re hoping to work with us and utilize that as opposed to bringing a trail through their development.”
Alcock said she did not want to see trails in the area fall by the wayside. “To me, I feel like that should really be part and parcel [of the development]…”
Terziano told committee that she thought the land swap was done to enable the municipality to put in a trail on those lands. She said staff should have been negotiating with the developer at that time and hoped they had not missed the boat. Staff was asked to explore further the location and creation of a trail in the area.
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