BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: Sections of Port Perry's urban area are being eyed as potential targets for intensification and increased living-density, according to the Township's Secondary Plan draft, released on May 26. Due to the increased sewage and service capacity brought by the scheduled expansion of the Nonquon Treatment Plant - as many as 850 to 1,000 new housing units (living space for one family) could be in the cards for Scugog.
Scugog's Director of Community Services, Don Gordon, explained to The Standard that the primary intensification zones lay mostly along Simcoe St. intersections - Including (but not limited to) Reach St., Hwy 7A, King St. on both sides of Simcoe St., and some subdivision development in the Prince Albert area.
"We know there is pressure coming on developing Port Perry, with the Hwy. 407 extension and added sewage capacity," said Mr. Gordon. "We're trying to stay ahead of the curve, and protect our historical character - new developments will need to be attractive, functional, and in keeping with our township."
The current plan places a maximum of 30 housing units per hectare (UPH) – Jim Dyment, the Township's planning consultant, explained that this allows for little growth in Port Perry's downtown, and that the new plan will likely tighten the maximum up to 50 UPH.
"We would like to zone about 600 low density units, like single-detached homes – and about 128 each of high and medium density units," said Mr. Dyment in his report to Council. "If trends continue and family and housing sizes become smaller and smaller, we could be looking at well-over 1,000 units in the future."
As per the Township's Secondary Plan documentation, 'medium density' and 'high density' zones are intended to be built as close-knit townhouses and small scale apartment or condominium units, respectively. All buildings would remain under five stories in height.
"When the sewage plant was originally developed we had many come to the Township with plans, and many of them could not be accommodated," said Mr. Dyment. "We currently have 350 units on hold, to be constructed as soon as the capacity is available."
Upon hearing councillors' concerns regarding the integrity and beautification of Port Perry's historical homes, Mr. Dyment explained that growth and intensification areas have been specifically targeted – and that the Secondary Plan also includes marked 'established neighbourhood' zones, which should be safeguarded from instensification.
Please refer to the official Township map for specific areas.
"All subdivision layouts, houses, and architecture would be reviewed by our staff, as well as the sustainability and environmental aspects – we don't want to end up with cookie cutter houses or urban sprawl," said Mr. Dyment.
Mr. Gordon expressed that the Township's objective in this excercise is to "create a better mix of housing, close to arterial roads and locations that can support additional density - and will also give affordable opportunities to first-time home buyers and senior citizens looking to downsize in the future."
The Township of Scugog will hold a public information meeting on June 10, inside Scugog Arena – a brief presentation and a question period will be held between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.