Neighbours clarify quadruplexes stance
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Feb 26, 2007  |  Vote 0    0

Neighbours clarify quadruplexes stance

Stratford Gazette

Residents of a south-end neighbourhood clarified their stance on three quadruplexes to be built on St. Vincent Street at Monday night's council meeting.

But the reiteration of their concerns didn't stop council from giving the project the green light.

In response to presentations made at the last council meeting by the affordable housing action committee, the Stratford and District Chamber of Commerce and the Stratford and Area Builders' Association, neighbours said they do not have any problems with affordable housing.

Thurman Reynolds said no one had used the word "slum" to describe the property and instead, raised concern about density, traffic flow and safety.

"Our interests were the safety, density and the other houses in the area," said Reynolds, adding he has lived in apartments in his life. "In an election year, it's going to take a brave council to go against what is called affordable housing."

Thurman warned more affordable housing in the area could begin to form a ghetto, something he did not want to see happen. He suggested the city create a concise housing plan to ensure affordable housing is spread out across Stratford instead of offering developers "crumbs" of land where no one else wants to build.

When neighbours and neighbouring industry made presentations against the zone change to allow the quadruplexes as a permitted use at the June 12 meeting, council voted to turn down the application.

One neighbour raised concern with how the properties were going to be maintained, suggesting it would be left up to the tenants. She said a group home would likely cause fewer problems in the neighbourhood than three quadruplexes.

However, after presentations by several community groups were made at the June 26 meeting, council voted to allow the project to move forward.

Marilyn Cassels, another neighbour who spoke at the initial meeting, noted there are 20 affordable housing units just one house away from her residence.

"I am not opposed to affordable housing," she said, noting at the first meeting there was no mention of the quadruplexes being designated as such.

"It's a high traffic area as it is....there are cars parked everywhere in my neighbourhood."

Coun. Cheryl Ruby said she inquired as to how much the two-bedroom units would cost to rent. She said the developer told her the units would cost over $700 a month, something she said is not affordable housing.

But Coun. George Brown said the affordable housing action committee assured council three units would be designated as rent-geared-to-income. He said he also supported the project as people would not be backing out of the driveways, instead pulling out forward.

Others pointed to the shortage of rental units in the city. Coun. Chris Rickett said though he doesn't want to see a concentration of rental units in one neighbourhood, the quadruplexes were suited to the area.

"It's the right fit in the right place," he said, adding most of the concerns raised by neighbours could be addressed in a site plan.

Coun. Dave Hunt said density should not be a problem, as neighbours have stated it is primarily single-family dwellings in the area.

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