They say Rome wasn’t built in a day. And Glendale won’t be either.
Residents of Glendale are still a long way from seeing a fully realized neighbourhood but after a team of planners presented to the town’s committee of the whole planning meeting Jan. 17, they can get a better idea of what the specifics may look like.
The details are being handled by the Planning Partnership, a consultant hired to update the plan for Glendale and implement the vision of the Glendale District Plan, which was completed in September 2021.
The Planning Partnership has finished the first phase of the update, which covers some preliminary research into the neighbourhood’s existing infrastructure, transportation needs, watershed, commercial and employment needs.
As more people move into the area, there will also be a higher demand for jobs.
The town will need to provide enough land to provide between 60 and 100 jobs per hectare until 2051 in order to comply with Niagara Region’s official plan, planner Donna Hinde told council.
Land use maps, which outline proposed uses for the district’s land, show properties along York and Grantham roads will be used to provide employment opportunities.
Coun. Gary Burroughs was especially interested in seeing a grocery store built to serve the residents near Niagara College and the surrounding area.
While Coun. Maria Mavridis shared her colleague’s desire, she tempered her optimism.
The challenge is that “it’s all privately owned land” and that there’s no guarantee developers will build a grocery store there, she said.
Consultant Aaron Farrell told councillors that much of the infrastructure already exists to accommodate new development, including water lines and wastewater treatment systems.
Those existing systems should be able to supply the area with water until 2041, according to a footnote in Farrell’s presentation.
At that time, the area may need to get water from Thorold and St. Catharines.
Stormwater management will have to be planned along the way, though, Farrell said.
Transportation infrastructure, on the other hand, will need some work.
Traffic concerns in Glendale predate the diverging diamond interchange that opened last fall at the Glendale exit from the QEW, Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa told The Lake Report.
“That’s a common one. So, I think that’s one to keep an eye on,” he said.
“We need to make sure that this plan properly addresses how people and vehicles flow through the community and around the interchange.”
According to the consultants’ presentation, people can expect the traffic around the outlet mall to increase as it is a primary destination for both drivers and pedestrians.
But they warned the most dangerous intersection in the area is at Glendale Avenue and Taylor Road near Niagara College.
Plans to deal with these traffic concerns will be addressed as the plan progresses, but the planners said more sidewalks will be needed as well as more space between bike lanes and traffic lanes.
The planning team’s study of the subwatershed is also an ongoing task.
A subwatershed is a network of rivers and creeks that drains into a larger body of water.
The purpose of studying it is to give “guidance for the planning of the lands adjacent to the natural heritage features,” said Farrell.
He said the lands adjacent to Six Mile Creek, the Welland Canal and Eight Mile Creek need protection from development.
The area around Six Mile Creek is already marked for environmental protection in the land use maps shared at the meeting.
They are also among the only green spaces on the map.
This did not escape the notice of Coun. Wendy Cheropita, who asked if the land around the river would be accessible to the public.
Hinde assured her they would plan for parks in the residential communities. “Parkland is a critical part of a complete community.”
At this point, the planning team is ready to start the second phase of the plan, which includes developing urban design guidelines and transportation networks.
They also need to assess the impact the new community will have on the town’s revenue, including the money generated by property taxes.
The planning team will be consulting residents throughout the process, council was told.