Residents of the Forest Creek subdivision have petitioned Council to close access between Forest Creek and the upcoming Kevlar development on County Road 19.
Kevlar Developments is in the site planning phase in the construction of four 3-story apartment buildings near the Giant Tiger.
The municipality needs this development, especially because 18% of the units are designated as affordable housing.
The Kevlar property backs on to the Forest Creek Subdivision, and there is a small drainage easement that some residents have been using as a path between the properties.
The easement is located on Westerra Way, between civic addresses #11 and #15. Kevlar has offered to construct a gravel or paved path along this easement, or to construct a fence to close off access between the properties.
The area, which is owned by the municipality, is currently being maintained by the owners of the neighbouring houses.
92% of the residents of Forest Creek voted against the construction of a path, and in favour of having the area blocked with a fence.
The petition was made part of the public record at the Municipal meeting on July 14. Residents cited their concern for their privacy and security, as well as an aversion to increased foot traffic, as the main reasons for their vote. Looking at the easement, it is unclear what a path would actually connect: there are no sidewalks in Forest Creek to be used by pedestrians.
Robert Gauthier stated that many residents of Forest Creek “paid a premium” for properties backing on to the storm water management pond.
The pond is located slightly uphill from the easement. He noted that residents maintain a path around the pond. When looking at the Kevlar’s plans, there is very little green-space available to future residents. Robert asked, “Where are these people going to go? This is a storm water management area, and not a park.”
Though Municipal staff wanted to take up Kevlar’s “generous offer” to build a path, stating that the path is important for future connectivity, Council decided to leave the easement in its current state.
This decision was understood as a compromise in light of the petition.
There will be no path to facilitate foot traffic between the developments, but there will be no fence to prevent it either.
Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Grenville Times