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Saturday, August 13, 2022
Townhouse project proposed for Mary Street

A new townhouse complex is being proposed for Mary Street.

“The Gables is a four-unit luxury townhouse complex located in the Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” marketing consultant Dylan Douglas said on behalf of the applicant, Desmond D'Silva of Integricon Developments Inc. 

The development will be two storeys and, during an open house on Monday, Susan Wheler, planning consultant for the project, noted it is at least a half-metre shorter than the maximum height allowance in the area.

The complex is proposed for 355 Mary St., at the corner of Dorchester Street.

The land is currently a commercially zoned building, containing an office. The developer is requesting the land be rezoned to medium-density residential.

The four units would have individual driveways exiting onto Dorchester Street.

Coun. Gary Burroughs expressed concern over the loss of a commercially zoned piece of land.

Planning director Kirsten McCauley said town staff are still reviewing the application and couldn’t comment on the effect of the loss of the commercial land at this point.

The design has been made to reflect and fit in with Old Town, Douglas said.

“The Gables have been meticulously designed to complement the streetscape on both the Mary Street and Dorchester Street frontages,” he said.

He said the architectural design is based on the style of homes in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Every detail of the design was meticulously selected, including the soft blue-gray pallet, cedar shake roof, natural stone accents and lush landscaping, Douglas said.

Wheler said the area is one of the main entrances to Old Town and the complex would be an “emblem and reminder to both tourists and residents that they are now entering one of Ontario’s most beautiful towns.”

Coun. Allan Bisback asked Wheler how much the units would sell for, noting the town is looking to expand access to affordable housing.

Because of the materials selected for the project, Wheler said it is doubtful the townhouses would meet the criteria of affordable housing but noted they would be cheaper than purchasing a neighbouring detached home.

Bisback said the material choice was “impeccable.”

Coun. Norm Arsenault noted that three large trees on the boulevard on Dorchester Street will need to be taken down in order to accommodate the driveways and asked if there had been any consideration as to working around the foliage instead.

Wheler said it is preferable to have the driveways jutting onto Dorchester instead of Mary Street.

“We would have preserved the trees if at all possible,” she said.

Arsenault also pushed Wheler to explore using low-impact development materials instead of asphalt for paving, something Wheler said had not been considered but would be taken into account moving forward.