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Councillors supportive of land lease community proposed for Arthur

In residential land lease communities, developers purchase and then lease the land back to residents at affordable rates to facilitate home ownership

ARTHUR ‒ Councillors believe a 60-unit residential land lease community proposed for Gordon Street will provide affordable opportunities for local mature adults to transition into permanent housing solutions. 

Sharing their support during a public meeting Monday evening, all four Wellington North councillors were eager to learn more about a proposed residential land lease community planned for 22 acres of vacant land at 210 Gordon St., near Eliza Street in the northeast edge of Arthur. 

In residential land lease communities, developers will purchase and then lease the land back to residents at affordable rates to facilitate home ownership. Residents own the home, but not the land it sits on.

"I think it's a neat option for a lot of older adults just getting into housing," said Coun. Steve McCabe, who chaired the meeting? "I like the agri-hood-feel to it...I really like this idea and I'm looking forward to seeing more detailed plans on it." 

Designed for adults 55 and older, the proposal includes 51 single detached dwellings, 12 townhouse units, outdoor RV storage, community gardens, recreation facilities, greenhouses, solar panels and a stormwater management pond

"I also like the concept, I like the idea of the amount of green space...the amount of trees that are going to be planted," said Coun. Penny Renken. "As well, without being pushed together, people do have a better opportunity to own their own home."

Calling the proposal a "less traditional"subdivision-condominium-style development" offering a combination of smaller homes in a large open space with "some access to services," Steve Weber, president of the GSP Group, representing the applicant Harvest View Estates, said the community would prioritize privacy while removing the need for separate ownership parcels. 

"The overall concept for the development is a mature adult-oriented community," said Weber, during the meeting. "Although a new concept for the community of Arthur, it's gaining popularity throughout the province."

Mayor Andy Lennox was absent from the meeting. 

A final recommendation report will be prepared and presented at a future meeting for council's full consideration. 

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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