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Niagara Falls
Monday, February 26, 2024
Letter: King St. condo project’s density is unacceptable
Writer Bill French says 52.8 units per hectare is an egregious proposal for a residential area. SOURCED

Dear editor:

I would first like to summarize the story line, so far, on the proposed King Street condo/apartment development and the town planning department’s report recommending approval of the project.

Town staff and council appear to be bamboozled by the developers’ end run appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Despite intense community opposition to the proposal, town staff essentially recommends we abandon the official plan and let developers do what they want in Old Town.

The key issue relates to the density (the size of the building) and setting a precedent that undercuts the official plan, which will assuredly result in an overbuilt Old Town.

The developer wants the area reclassified from low density residential to medium density.

Beyond that, the proposal requests a density that exceeds the maximum medium density by 76 per cent. The proposal results in a density of 52.8 units per hectare vs a maximum medium density of 30 units.

However, compared to the property’s current low density residential designation, the plans density of 52.8 units/per hectare is 277 per cent greater than the low density maximum of 14 units per hectare.

It is unacceptable to support a proposal that increases the lot’s density 277 per cent from its current official plan designation and establishes a new precedent for future development.

This is massive overdevelopment and it is unnecessary to achieve our intensification targets.

Now, visualize for a moment the number of empty and large lots that can be subdivided in Old Town.

The prospect of gross overdevelopment on those properties is shocking and will be to the detriment of our community and its residents forever.

The town’s report goes on to say that “staff are of the opinion that the proposed density is appropriate.”

They may think so, but the impacted community has been singular, loud and clear in their view that this development will adversely impact the quality of the neighbourhood.

There’s a cute quote going around that it’s like trying to fit a size 9 foot into a size 6 shoe.

I did the math, it’s actually like trying to fit a size 22.5 foot into a size 6 shoe.

If approved, this will set a horrendous precedent, effectively paving the way for developers to randomly over-build in many settings in Old Town.

The developers will render the official plan obsolete in the pursuit of maximizing their profits, at the expense of the town’s residents.

The official plan was established to enable and direct development in our community. It is an agreement, a contract among the town staff, the councillors and the residents that defines the future of our community.

As co-authors and elected representatives of the community, councillors need to heed the will of the residents and honour that agreement.

This proposal must be stopped.

Bill French
NOTL

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