Orangeville council hears proposed changes to subdivision plan

Orangeville town council got a clearer idea of alterations requested by the proponent of an already-approved subdivision.

Trish Elliott, a development manager with NG Citrus described the changes to a draft plan during a council meeting March 6. The overall site concept has been established, but the purpose of the current application is to refine certain residential zone standards that were approved with the initial subdivision draft plan.

The proposed housing development will be located in Orangeville west of Blind Line and the Mason Street and Meyer Drive residential area. The Edgewood Valley 2B draft plan was approved in February 2021.

The development is a proposed subdivision with 51 single detached dwellings, 17 on-street townhouses, and a low-density multiple residential block containing as many as 50 condominium townhouses.

The draft plan also has open space conservation lands associated with the Lower Monora Creek south tributary, and a stormwater management pond block at the northwest corner of Hansen Boulevard and Blind Line.

The 2B Plan serves as an extension of the existing Edgewood Valley Phase 2A subdivision to the east, which is the Meyer Drive and Mason Street residential area.

The NG Citrus parcel of land is made up of property previously slated for development by three owners. Elliott said having three different owners meant more coordination would be required between the town and the owners to deliver infrastructure and development in this area.

So, straight away, the single-proponent effort has simplified the process already.

“Connecting Hansen Boulevard is incredibly important,” she said. “Technically, the road itself is in two different draft plans of subdivisions under two different owners.”

Now that NG Citrus owns all the parcels, the development can seamlessly progress, she said.

The developers are asking to change the maximum height on some of the single-family dwellings to 11.5 metres.

In other housing developments, NG Citrus has noticed a change in the demographics of occupants. Housing has become multi-generational homes with children that are staying in the home longer, Elliott said.

“This has resulted in purchasers looking for a more affordable way to increase the indoor space to comfortably fit their family as well as provide adequate space and separation for their privacy and comfort,” Elliott said.

Councillor Joe Andrews asked for clarification as to whether the requested change in ceiling height refers to a nine-foot height or an eight-foot height interior ceiling.

Elliott said they haven’t actually designed the buildings yet. The renderings in the proposal are concepts, she said.

“With the zoning bylaw, you need to work in minimums and maximums,” she said. “In some cases, the 11.5 metres has to do a lot with the grading as well that’s on the site and how it’s measured. Not necessarily the height of the home itself.”

She also said the development will now include a new unit type. The Freehold Townhouse, Elliott said, hasn’t been seen in Orangeville.

Elliott said the development doesn’t include the replacement of linked townhouses with semi-detached units. Rather, they are townhouses designed to look like semi-detached housing units.

Coun. Debbie Sherwood wondered why those units wouldn’t be built as semi-detached units rather than merely appear that way.

“We were trying to minimize the changes that were happening to the zoning bylaw,” Elliott said. “In order to go in and change the subdivision, for example, those townhouse blocks would have to be converted into lots (to allow semi-detached units).

“You’d have a bigger change to the actual draft plan of subdivision.”

Such developments don’t only change the landscape of an area. In some cases, development alters life there.

Zachary Wasney enjoys exploring the forest that’s in the subject lands. There’s also a hill there on which he likes to sled, he said. There’s a stream or brook on the parcel that he likes to explore, he said. And a red squirrel he’s named Red lives in a tree he visits there.

“A forest isn’t just a pack of trees,” the young man said. “It’s home to so much wildlife.”

Jodi McNeill, another nearby resident, said in a letter to council that her main concern with the requested changes to the plan is that it will increase the density of the overall development.

“This section was slated for 51 single detached dwellings,” she wrote. “That number will grow substantially if semis are permitted, which increase traffic, parking and water usage.

“Having previously lived in the Settlers Creek development and experienced the influx of townhouses on Winterton Court, a street that is filled with vehicles due to the small garage/driveways not suited to multi-car families, it would be disappointing to replicate that format in this area.”


James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen