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Reduced parking, amenity space sought for affordable housing project

Committee of Adjustment to consider zoning changes for 50-60 Fife Rd. next month

Expansion may be on the way for a west end affordable housing project, with a previously protected heritage building torn down in the process.

Upbuilding Non-Profit Homes wants to demolish a two-storey building with four residential units at 50-60 Fife Rd. – a site city council recently removed from the municipal registry of historically significant properties – and replace it with a three-storey building containing 18 units.

“To increase the supply of affordable housing in Guelph and Wellington County, UpBuilding is proposing to develop 18 one-bedroom units as three-storey multiple attached dwellings on the eastern portion of its property,” states a letter from Upbuilding to city officials which was posted online. “Six of the units would be fully accessible.”

In order for the project to go ahead, Upbuilding is the city’s Committee of Adjustment for a variety of changes to the property’s zoning. Among them is a reduction to the required number of parking spaces, to 95 from 120, as well as cutting the required amenity areas for residents in half, to 10 square metres per unit from 20 square metres per unit.

Permission to build a multi-residential building is also being sought as current zoning doesn’t allow it.

If approved, the expansion would bring the total number of units on the property to 84.

Last July, city council started the ball rolling on having the property protected under the Ontario Heritage Act, but called it off in November following opposition from Upbuilding, which said the cost of preserving heritage features could make the project unfeasible.

That fall meeting also saw the property removed from the municipal heritage registry, essentially opening the way for a demolition permit to be applied for.

A tower and attached building at 50-60 Fife Rd. used to be home for city mayor and county councillor, F.J. Chadwick (elected mayor in 1877), but has undergone a number of expansions and alterations through the years.

The CofA is slated to consider UpBuilding’s request on Feb. 9, during a meeting set to begin at 4 p.m. and held inside city council chambers at city hall. It can also be watched online at guelph.ca/live.

Anyone wishing to submit written comments for the committee’s consideration must send them to cofa@guelph.ca by noon on Feb. 2.  

To speak to the committee about Upbuilding’s requests, the deadline to register is noon on the day of the hearing (Feb. 9) – email cofa@guelph.ca or call 519-822-1260 ext. 2524.