SCUGOG: Prince Albert residents protested a proposed subdivision expansion on Monday, Sept. 29 at Scugog Council Chambers - with one community member, Suzanne Doupe, calling it ‘mind-boggilingly unrealistic.’
The proposal, submitted by Henry Kortekaas and Associates Inc., on behalf of Home-Land Development Group Ltd., will seek to build 28 detached homes and a new cul-de-sac on a 4.15 acre lot, fronting onto the south side of King St., just west of Union Ave.
Proponent representative Henry Kortekaas touted the subdivision draft as necessary intensification of the rural reaches of Prince Albert - which currently feature older homes and large rural lots.
“We’re providing opportunities for starter homes, priced in the middle of the market, between $350,000 and $450,000,” said Mr. Kortekaas. “Smaller homes and smaller yards are perfect for retirees as well.”
Mr. Kortekaas also told Council that the new homes would be marketed to families who currently live in the southern portion of Durham Region, and further west in the GTA. The developers hope that the coming Highway 407 expansion will attract Toronto commuters to North Durham, seeking countryside living and a shorter drive to work.
Members of the local community, many of whom own homes which would butt up against the new development, took exception to the compact sized lots and homes on the draft plan.
Current Township zoning by-laws state that all residential lots must be at least 670 square metres in area with a minimum 18 metre frontage - the proposed lots would more than halve the requirements, with lot sizes as small as 300 square metres, and frontages of only 6.3 metres.
“With requested lot sizes and frontages being less than half of what our by-laws hold, what is the point in even having a by-law process?” asked Ward 2 Councillor John Hancock. “While I appreciate that we should look toward intensification – I don’t think this new subdivision will enhance the pre-existing homes.”
Councillors also discussed issues with the proposed street allowance running through the subdivision, as it was almost two metres more narrow than by-laws require, and did not feature sidewalks or room to park more than one vehicle in driveways.
“An average family has at least two workers and two cars – with capacity for one car in the driveway, would we see cars lined up on the street?” said Councillor Hancock. “If you’re touting small houses, the garage will be stuffed with belongings.”
One local homeowner, Paul Callaghan, was upset by the proposal to bring municipal sewage and water service to the new homes, stating that many homes in Prince Albert have not seen services for more than two decades.
“We don’t have sidewalks or streetlights, and we still pay taxes. You can’t build a new Prince Albert and leave the old one behind,” said Mr. Callaghan.
Mr. Kortekaas explained that the new expansion would require the servicing pipes to be expanded down Old Simcoe Rd. or Union Ave., and would aid in the planned servicing of Prince Albert.
“I don’t call what we have here a mix or affordable, it is entirely detached single family dwellings. Intensification means that we have a variety of lot sizes and price ranges,” said Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew. “What we have here is just an application, it is not complete or even approved - and it needs some major review.”
The proposal has been deferred to a future meeting with the new Scugog Township Council - after municipal election, which will take place on Oct. 27.