BROCKTON – Mayor Chris Peabody said prior to Tuesday night’s council meeting that there’s good news that will help the community deal with the current housing crisis.
On the meeting’s agenda was a preliminary public meeting on the Walker Hill Development Inc. subdivision.
Peabody said the 81-unit development has been in the works for some time. What sets it apart is the fact that it “skews on the side of medium-density,” the mayor said. Instead of consisting of mostly detached single-family homes with 30 per cent higher density semi-detached, townhouses or apartments – attainable housing – this development has 30 single-family dwellings and 51 higher-density units.
“They went the other way,” said Peabody.
Townhouse and semi-detached units are more attainable for young families just starting out, at a time when the price of single-family dwellings is rising beyond what many people can afford, said the mayor.
The location of the development makes it even better – it’s within easy walking distance of downtown and is close to the soccer fields, River Trail and Rotary Nature Park.
“It has a lot of amenities,” Peabody said. “It checks off all the boxes for attainable housing.”
According to the planning report in the agenda package, details of the development of the 6.61-hectare parcel of land will include 30 single detached lots, five lot enlargements of neighbouring properties, one semi-detached dwelling with two units, and 12 multi-unit dwelling blocks consisting of 49 townhouse dwelling units, plus one block for stormwater management, one block for walkway purposes, and one internal road connecting to Old Durham Road to the south.
The mayor said that instead of a single public meeting, there will be two – this one, to present the proposal to council and obtain feedback from the public, and a second meeting when the proposal will be voted on.
The planning report indicated some neighbouring landowners have expressed concerns about the density of the proposed development.
Several letters were included with the report. Most concerns appear to involve drainage and the location of the townhouse blocks.
Peabody also commented on the province’s decision to move into phase one of the reopening a bit early, on June 11 instead of June 14.
“It’s excellent news,” he said.
He noted the municipality is working with the BIA and the community development officer in planning a “grand reopening of downtown,” likely sometime in mid-July, “once the personal service people (hair salons) are back” in business. In other words, the celebration will have to wait for phase two of the reopening.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times