A small plaza in an east end residential neighbourhood will be redeveloped into stacked townhouses.
The plan for 140 Hadati Rd. – reached through appeal settlement discussions between the city and developer, Dotty Lakes Retreats – was approved by an Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) adjudicator on Friday morning.
It will see the existing single-storey commercial building between Leacock Avenue and Upton Crescent demolished and replaced by a 3.5-storey tall block of 24 stacked townhouse units. The bottom row of units are to be built partially below surface level.
“I am satisfied that this development is appropriate,” said OLT member Gwen Croser after hearing details of the settlement agreement.
Dotty Lakes filed its appeal last April, citing the lack of a council decision on the proposed redevelopment within the legislated timeline.
In addition to some site layout adjustments, the largest change since the proposal was first put forward in 2022 is the inclusion of four additional visitor parking spaces. That brings the total number of spots to 30, with one per unit and six for visitors.
“This is one of the larger underutilized sites in the area,” planning consultant Trevor Hawkins told the OLT on behalf of Dotty Lakes. “This represents appropriate intensification within the city’s built-up area.”
Currently, the plaza contains a building with two commercial units. Until last year, one was home to a convenience store, while the other has been empty for quite some time. Both are now vacant.
The site, Hawkins noted, is close to transit routes, commercial areas, parks, schools and the Victoria Road Recreation Centre.
During a public meeting in late 2022, before changes were made to the plan, about a dozen people spoke out about the proposal. Many acknowledged a need for redevelopment and even praised the idea, but called for the plan to be scaled back.
Council heard the then-requested reduction in minimum parking spaces would prompt people to park secondary vehicles or additional visitors on the street, limiting sightlines for children travelling to and from school – many pass by the site as they head for a catwalk connection to St. John Catholic School and St. James Catholic High School on Victoria Road.
With the addition of four spaces, the plan no longer needs that particular zoning bylaw amendment in order to go ahead.
The townhouses are to be built close to Hadati, with parking at the rear to provide 20 metres of distance between the units and homes on Leacock and Upton. Parking lot entrances are to remain essentially where they are now, on Leacock and Upton.
Also added since the plan was first introduced is a covered area for 16 bicycle parking spaces.