Residents along Rogers Road are upset about two developments in the area, saying there’s going to be a problem with space, parking and their quaint lifestyles.
Doug Gordon, Max Gordon, Don Madge and Gary Forbes sat down with The Calendar to express their concerns about the developments and what they say is a lack of communication from the district.
“Forty-seven condos for this size of road is ridiculous,” Doug said.
“Most of these are going to be rentals, which is a joke because they’re going to be parking their trailers, boat trailers,” Forbes said.
The residents are especially concerned about street parking along Rogers Road.
Currently, development is underway for a 22 unit row housing complex, configured into four buildings with a mix of three and four room units.
Under the current OCP, the area is listed as high density residential. The zoning for the property, located at 11581 Rogers Road, is medium-density multiple housing. According to reports from the district, the development is listed at 2.5 storeys high, with 48 parking spots.
The other development, approved by council during a Sept. 18 council meeting, has the residents upset about possible flooding in the area, parking and privacy. The development will be located at 11592 Rogers Road and features 25 units of row housing, three and four-bedroom units configured into seven buildings. Each unit will have two parking spots for 50 spaces and four visitor spots.
Variances were also granted by council during the meeting, allowing “the front yard setback from the required minimum of six metres to five m, the side yard setback from the required minimum of 4.5 m to 2.7 m for the north building (and) the minimum rear yard landscape buffer along the south property line from the required 3 m to 0.6 m.”
A petition presented to council in September contained approximately 70 signatures agreeing with the letter to council requesting the district delay the development until it has created a new floodplain map for Lake Country, as well it requested the district address the effect it may have on groundwater supplies used for wells.
Public hearings were held for both properties in 2016.
Short term rentals are another concern for Madge.
“Here we are by the lake, they’re three, four-bedroom town houses that we all know, (there will be parties and the amount of people will be a nightmare).”
However, community services manager with the district Jamie McEwan said short-term rentals are not allowed in the complex unless the strata applies to rezone the property or for a temporary use permit.
The residents suggested using the old school ground on Woodsdale Road instead of this location for density.
“It’s not going to affect anyone,” Madge said. “I think the biggest thing is this area… they’re not considering the people here at all. You can’t bring in something that will undo (our) lifestyle.”
“The Lake Country government is not listening to us at all,” he added.
Forbes said the variances for the new Troika Developments property that were approved in September allow the developer to build eight feet closer to his property, with the access road being just two feet away.
“That means traffic going by there day and night, garbage trucks and everything else, the overflow is going to be parked on that road, and Troika told me they’re not allowed to park on that road,” Forbes chuckled. “Yea, right.”
The residents said they were provided with little information about the developments and that they had attended some council meetings in 2016 as well as the more recent ones.
They believe the developers did not provide them with much information.
However, Mayor James Baker said the area has been listed in the Woodsdale sector plan as medium and high density.
“It hasn’t been sprung on anyone and certainly people made the cases at the public hearings and the variances… the buildings are not as high nor as dense as they could be,” Baker said.
“It met with residents’ approval (at) that time,” he said. “We’re not creating any more lots on the floodplain, the lots are already there.”
“We heard the issues, and the developers heard the issues and worked with the people who were most affected. There are always people opposed to any densification because they’re used to looking at a big open field beside their place – unless they buy that field someone could always come and build on it,” he said.
“We’re looking at the community as a whole and looking at areas where developments can occur with the least cost to the municipality, and we want to keep the development in areas where there are services,” he said.
Renee Wasylyk, president of Troika Developments, said the complex doesn’t have basements and it’s being constructed two metres above the floodplain, so there are not flooding concerns.
She said they company hosted an open house prior to the development’s approval and went door-to-door to speak with residents in the area. She said the development was designed to be sensitive to the surrounding neighbours.
“I could build 47 units on the property, we’re building 27,” she said.
They have a flat roof system and two storey complexes around the perimeter to be sensitive to residents, she added.
“The height that we’re allowed there is three storeys and that’s what we’re going to,” she said. “Their reality is, their homes are also slated for higher density as well.”