Milton Council has voted 5-3 in favour of a residential tower development on the northwest corner of the intersection of Bronte, and Main on the lot of the TSC Store.
The approval followed a public meeting featuring over 20 speakers as part of their regular council meeting Monday June 21. The development calls for one 17 storey tower, and one 18 storey tower for a total of 503 dwelling units. It will have a six storey podium, with 1,062 sq. ft of commercial space at street level, as well as 800 sq. ft. of office space on the second floor. The applicant was in a position to appeal to the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) as of last week.
The speakers were a cross-section of residents and business owners. Jeff Bergsma, owner of Bergsma's Paint and Décor likes the idea of foot traffic. "What we need is a spark," he said. He argues that bringing more people into the area will bring opportunities for more businesses. "We're hanging on by a thread," he said. Domenic Pasqualino agrees, and likes it's not in the flood plain, and won't affect the historical downtown. There was a previous development of two condo towers at 18 storeys, and 13 storeys along Mill St, which didn't make it to council because it was denied because it was on the 16 mile Creek floodplain.
Area residents weren't necessarily against the idea of developing the site. "It struck me almost all residents are not opposed to revitalization," Will Ashford observed in his comments to council. Most were concerned about the building's height, which at 17, and 18 storeys high is almost five times what the area is zoned for. The Council is also working on a new Official Plan Amendment, which, will chart the town's growth until 2051.
Erin lives at the corner of Mill and Bronte St She moved from Brampton, and fell in love with old Milton. She just wants development to fit the area. "We want development that won't harm our neighbours," she said. Residents cited traffic, and parking concerns. Traffic studies were called into question. The developer argues that area streets can support the additional traffic, after studies were done in 2019, and 2020. "Nobody uses 2020 as a baseline," Mary St. resident Mandy Wong said of the study. There is a third study dated 2021 currently listed as under review. Speed through area streets is also a problem, as well as their width for parking. The developer is allocating 1.25 parking spots per unit, and residents worry over parking spreading to surrounding streets.
Council debated the proposal. Ward 1 Regional Councilor Colin Best asked about who would pay for the additional allocation. "It's not about being for or against development, it's about getting a better deal for the Town," Best said. He called for a recorded vote which passed with a verdict of 5-3. Voting in favour were: Councilors Mike Cluett, Rick Di Lorenzo, Rick Malboeuf, Zeeshan Hamid, and Mayor Gord Krantz. Against were: Best, Councilor Sameera Ali, and Councilor John Challinor. Councilor Kristina Tesser-Derksen abstained from voting.
Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative, The Milton Reporter
Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter