About 10 Dundas residents pleaded with city councillors Wednesday morning not to allow a six-storey apartment building in their neighbourhood.
Residents objected to a proposed development at 24 Brock St. N., a 0.48-hectare lot at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, at a planning committee meeting.
“This is a behemoth being squeezed into a piece of property that requires the zoning and variances to accommodate it,” said John Parcher, who lives on nearby Melville Street. “City councillors such as you must be visionaries of our community. You as councillors are stewards of our Dundas official town plan.”
The proposed development by Eco Building Inc. would see a 48-unit building with 71 parking spaces and a buffer of 4.4 metres from the one and two-storey homes nearby.
The vacant land is the former home of a tool manufacturer, and is designated as residential mixed use.
Resident concerns included water pressure, potential flooding and traffic issues, privacy issues regarding apartments overlooking backyards and changes to the fabric of the neighbourhood. They were also concerned about the distance between the building and neighbouring lots.
Citizen group HEARD (Heritage, Escarpment and Responsible Development) presented a petition of about 900 signatures from people objecting to the apartment building.
“Not one resident in the 120-metre area around the proposed development supports this proposed project,” HEARD said in its written submission to councillors.
“This is not a NIMBY (not in my backyard) protest,” resident Adele Barrett said. “This is the opinion of the larger community.” The location “is not the right place for this extreme intensity,” she said. “We are not opposed to appropriate development. We are opposed to this huge development in this location.”
Stephen Fraser, a planner representing Eco Building Inc., said the proposed development has been changed to reflect community concerns. The building has been changed from seven to six stories and is made of stone and rock to blend in with the escarpment.
“(The developer) does want to build something that is complementary and compatible with the neighbourhood,” he said.
This type of use is what councillors envisioned when they developed the official plan, he said.
“This is not a homogenous neighourhood,” he said.
The developer “attempted to design a building that not only meets his interests, but the interest of the public,” Fraser said. “He’s tried to achieve that balance.”
Coun. Russ Powers of Dundas is not a member of the committee. But he told members that he agrees with many of the residents' concerns, and if the decision comes to council, he will oppose it.
Committee members have referred the matter back to staff to clarify some aspects of the project, particularly the height of the building.