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New apartment complex for Mount Forest approved

Decision had been deferred from August to address some of the concerns with the original application
Screenshot 2021-08-20 12.50.25 PM
Preliminary rendering of the apartment building proposed in Mount Forest

The Township of Wellington North has approved a revised zoning by-law amendment that will permit a two-storey, 32-unit apartment building in Mount Forest.

On top of the earlier changes developer Archcon Group Inc. and its team made to address comments from residents, a few more were made prior to Tuesday’s council meeting. 

The decision had been deferred from an August meeting to help address some concerns with the original proposal for 773 Princess St., which sought a zoning change from medium to high density.

Andrea Sinclair, a planner working on the site plan on behalf of the developer, explained they plan on increasing the landscaping between the building and adjacent residential lots, increase setbacks to abutting residential lot lines to 9 metres, lowering the existing gradings and putting new fencing around the development.  

Sinclair notes they will change the building’s height to 10.5 metres to coincide with the R2 Medium Density Residential Zone.

However, residents such as Terry Martin, who lives on Princess Street, and Penny Renkin and Gianni Accettola, who live at Jeremy Crescent, have raised concerns around the type of development, stating that “two-storey apartment building is not compatible with the neighborhood.”

“I recommend building a townhouse here instead as it would look better with the aesthetic of the neighborhood,” said Renkin. 

“But also, I’m doing the math and 48 parking spots that are available for these units is just not enough. Traffic at Waterloo Street is already bad, but what would happen now with people not finding parking because it’s very limited for these residents. I didn’t see any traffic studies done by the municipality and I really think they should as these things need to be taken into consideration.” 

Sinclair notes that council didn’t ask them for a traffic study, but if they ever want one, they are willing to do one as the developer is open to the idea of it. 

“Our team wants to be able to address some of the concerns raised,” said Sinclair.

“But we also want to address that any decrease in units or significant changes has a potential on an increased price range for these units. The developer’s goal is to be able to create affordable housing for our targeted residents, which mostly consists of seniors. The developer, who is also owner of the property, wants the building to be an apartment complex. They have the right to choose to build this as they are the property owners.”

Council voted 3-2 in favour of the application.