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When six houses become 60, the neighbours get a little upset

Developer seeking zoning amendment that would clear the way for townhouse development
20161114  lowes road ts
An application has been made to bulldoze six houses on Lowes Road and replace them with a 60-unit townhouse development. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

Some south end residents are upset about an application that would see six detached homes on their street torn down and replaced with 60 townhouses.

Reid's Heritage Homes, on behalf of property owners Parry Schnick and Catriona Forbes, has applied for a zoning bylaw amendment that would allow them to demolish six homes on large lots on Lowes Road West, just off Gordon Street, and replace them with a complex of 60 two-storey condominium cluster townhomes.

A public meeting on the application was held at Guelph City Hall Monday night.

The meeting was for information only as staff will now go though the application and come back with a recommendation to council.

Several area residents spoke as delegates at the meeting.

"We're concerned about this development," said Joan Ferguson who lives on adjacent Dawn Avenue.

One of her main concerns was storm water runoff.

Several residents mentioned increased traffic and parking issues that the increased density would bring.

Monica Frauts said the area is primarily expensive single detached homes and that the townhouses, which she said would likely become student properties, would hurt property values.

"I'd like to see homes equivalent to that as our neighbours," Frauts said. "It's not conducive to the neighbourhood."

Ted Moyse said "I don't think we're opposed to development, we are opposed to going from six homes to 60 homes."

The townhomes would have garages and driveways for one car.

A common area and a retaining storm water pond are part of the development.

Mayor Cam Guthrie shared the concern about possible storm water issues and also about parking issues in the area and the state of traffic in the south end of Guelph in general.

"I know the studies say we're okay, but the paper is not matching the reality of driving in that area," Guthrie said.

As for the parking issue, Guthrie said "I feel it in my gut that the road will have cars parked all over the place."

The properties in question are currently zoned for single detached homes and the developer wants a bylaw amendment that would allow cluster townhouses.

They are also seeking permission for smaller than permitted space between the rear of the homes (12.5 metres instead of 15m) and a reduced setback from Lowes Road for two end units (4.5m instead of 6m).