Developer dodging Westboro triplex moratorium, residents say

Some Westboro residents are fuming over what they believe is a developer's plan to dodge a temporary moratorium on triplexes in the neighbourhood by proposing two buildings that could actually have more residential units.

Upset new proposal for 514 Roosevelt Ave. could have 8 units

John Cruise lives across the street from 514 Roosevelt Ave., where a developer plans to build two units that could possibly contain eight residential properties. (Robyn Miller/CBC)

Some Westboro residents are fuming over what they believe is a developer's plan to dodge a temporary moratorium on triplexes in the neighbourhood by proposing two buildings that could actually have more residential units.

Falsetto Homes owns the property at 514 Roosevelt Ave., and residents say the company's plan for the land doesn't fit with the neighbourhood. 

The existing lot would be divided in two, and two long semi-detached homes would be separated by a common driveway with parking around the back.

City zoning also allows for the owner to build a secondary dwelling unit in each half of each semi — leading to a potential eight residential units.

The developer isn't breaking any rules, but John Cruise, who lives across from the property, says it's disappointing.

"It's double on top of double," said Cruise. "It's effectively putting in fourplexes where there's already a triplex moratorium."

Currently a single family house sits at 514 Roosevelt Ave. (Robyn Miller/CBC)

In October the city approved an interim control bylaw to prevent the same builder from erecting two triplexes in the same location.

Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper put forward the motion, calling it "overintensification."

Expanding the moratorium 

Now, Leiper says he's speaking with councillors and city staff to see if the bylaw can be expanded to include long-semis as well.

"My caution to residents is that if we freeze another type of building form, the developers will probably come up with something clever in order to get the kind of intensification they're looking [for]," said Leiper.

The councillor said the city needs to take a deeper dive into infill to figure out what level of intensification is going to be allowed in low-rise neighbourhoods like Westboro.

After a moratorium on triplex development was introduced in Westboro, one developer is getting around the ban by proposing two long-semi units instead. Coun. Jeff Leiper says residents are concerned about preserving trees and managing parking. 0:37

"The neighbourhood is going to intensify. There are going to be more units where previously there might have just been one or just been two," said Leiper.

"That's going to continue, but there are some problems that brings with respect to preserving trees, and problems with respect to how parking works on the streets that we need to work through," he added.

Residents worn down

Eric Milligan, who lives in an infill home himself, said residents aren't against intensification, but adding eight residential units where there's currently one family home doesn't make sense.

"It's really stressful. People in this area of Westboro are really upset," said Milligan.

"We appreciated what the city did with the interim control bylaw. It's really upsetting that somebody seems to have found a way around it."

CBC News did contact Falsetto Homes but the owner had no comment.


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