Residents raise concerns over proposed housing development

Residents raise concerns over proposed housing development

A group of West Brant residents want the city to preserve established neighborhoods during Brantford’s home building boom.

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They also say their Pioneer Grove neighborhood would be a good place to start.

“We moved in 20 years ago and we always kind of knew the day would come when the land next to us would be developed,” Dave McAllister of Clement Drive said. “But I don’t think anyone in the neighborhood thought that we’d be looking at something like this.

“There’s going to be 900 homes going right beside us.”

That’s a lot of homes and, more important for McAllister and his neighbors, a lot of vehicles.

Residents are worried about the impact a proposed three-phased development slated for a 58.86-hectare (128-acre) parcel of land will have on their homes. The land, municipally identified as 205-211, 299, 399 and 409 Mount Pleasant Road, is near the Farringdon Burial Ground and adjacent to Pioneer Grove.

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McAllister’s home is at the dead end of Clement Road. He and his neighbors would like Clement Drive and Sherman Drive, which is a block way, to remain dead ends – closed roads.

A huge sign that said “Please keep Clement Dr. a closed street,” was temporarily put up on the community mailbox in front of Mayors Common Park, a small neatly groomed and well maintained park.

“Clement Drive, like Sherman, is a narrow street,” McAllister said. “It’s not wide enough to handle a lot of traffic and if there are cars parked on the street, it becomes really narrow.”

Neighborhood children are used to walking to the park and are not accustomed to large amounts of traffic on Clement and other side streets.

The most recent plan for the development shows Sherman Drive as a pedestrian walkway rather than a road. Residents would like Clement Drive to become a pedestrian walkway or an emergency access road for fire trucks and paramedics.

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Martin Sterenczak, another resident, said people are also concerned about the lot sizes and would like to see a trail through the development.

“I know the city has an issue about building trails between houses but I think that the residents are more than willing to have a trail,” Sterenczak said.

A trail could go from the existing LE & N. Trail through the development to Mount Pleasant Road, he said.

Dave McAllister of Clement Drive in Brantford, is one of many residents worried about the impact a proposed 900-home subdivision will have on their well-established West Brant neighborhood. Photo by VINCENT BALL /Brantford Exhibitor

Residents are also worried about the development’s density.

Sterenczak said residents are not asking for 80 or 100-foot lots, but are hoping the city won’t accept minimum lot sizes of 26 to 36 feet because that means more homes and more vehicles.

“We want to see something that fits with the rest of the area,” Sterenczak said.

The proposed development is scheduled to be discussed at a city planning committee on June 20.

Residents have written letters, some are planning to attend the meeting and share a petition supporting their stance.

“This is a community-wide issue,” McAllister said. “There are a lot of established neighborhoods throughout the city that are going to be impacted by the housing boom.

“We just want the city to do what it can to protect the residents who are already here.”

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