A proposed stacked townhouse development in Strathroy’s north end is moving ahead.
Strathroy-Caradoc councilors unanimously passed motions during their Sept. 19 council meeting to approve the development and zoning bylaw amendments to permit the high-density residential development.
The approved development will consist of three 3.5-storey buildings with a total of 72 units, 119 parking spaces and common amenity areas. The development was originally proposed to include 80 units, but that number was reduced to address parking concerns.
As previously reported, residents expressed concerns about the development during a public meeting on Aug. 2 when the community was able to speak about topics such as parking, traffic, safety and whether the development would be the right fit for the community.
During that meeting, residents proposed the possibility of constructing a new route to access Highway 81 or Second Street with the aim of minimizing the impact on Darcy Drive and other nearby roads which can already experience traffic congestion due to the nearby North Meadows Elementary School.
In his presentation to council during the Sept. 19 meeting, senior planner Tim Williams spoke about the idea of an additional access route and said that there was no possible alternative available.
Williams also spoke about concerns from residents about the proposed development not fitting into the already existing community of single-detached homes.
“This is one of the items that we continue to work with on many applications when it comes to new uses that are of a different density,” said Williams. “For planning staff, the test for compatibility isn’t necessarily that the development is the same or similar to the existing development. The test of compatibility is looking at the development and the existing development, and if they are capable of existing in harmony with one another.”
He added: “Nothing leads us to believe that these two uses will be incompatible.”
count. John Brennan commended municipal staff for working with the developer to address some of the concerns raised by the public at previous meetings but highlighted a need for the municipality to continue its work as Strathroy-Caradoc continues to grow.
“I think the municipality needs to do its job over the next four years, and that would be to work on a process whereby we can succeed in having more east-west connectors for the traffic in the north end,” said Brennan. “We do need some rational solutions to what’s going on in the north end.”
Thought Coun. Steve Pelkman highlighted how he’s shared concerns and ideas during previous meetings about the development, he said the developer has also worked to remedy several issues in regard to parking and privacy, and said the municipality has a need for diverse housing options.
“I think, in the end, with the diversity of housing that we need, this needs to move forward,” said Pelkman. “We need this kind of housing so that people can have some kind of affordable living arrangements within Strathroy-Caradoc, and it’s going to take a lot more than these buildings to achieve it.
“This is a really good start.”