The proposed development of a portion of land in the area of Doering Street and Nafziger Road in Wellesley has many area residents concerned.
Attending a public meeting at the township council Tuesday night, several of them voiced their opposition to a proposal that could see a number of commercial businesses set up in the residential area.
“I’m concerned about what it will do to the environment of our neighbourhood – it’s a very quiet street; I’m concerned about the traffic impact with small children in the neighbourhood; I’m concerned about what it will do to the property value for all of our homes …this could affect it dramatically,” said neighbour Gretchen Robertson.
The property under discussion is 12.75 acres at the east end of Doering Street and along the east side of Nafziger Road.
Robertson’s apprehension was echoed by several of her neighbours, who touched upon a number of concerns, including an increase in traffic volume, parking problems, construction in a floodplain area, and the potentially contaminated fill underlying a portion of the property.
“When you buy something and they say nothing will be built behind you and now it’s proposed that something could be behind you – it’s kind of deceiving,” said resident Ron Gropp.
The owners of the property have submitted an application to the township requesting that it rezone the property to allow for a portion to be used for employment lands and another portion for residential purposes. The applicants are seeking an amendment to the official plan to re-designate the existing shop and surrounding gravel parking from ‘open space’ to ‘commercial.’
Among the commercial uses permitted under the zoning requested is a craft shop, contractor shop, electrical/electrical contractor, caterer, woodworking shop, offices, printing shop, sculpture sales, an art studio, beekeeping, florist and accessory greenhouse, the sale of pets and supplies, dog grooming, small appliance sales and service, and the sale and service of computers.
The applicant also proposes nine residential lots on the southwest portion of the site, fronting onto Nafziger Road.
Resident George Hosea sought assurances from the township that nine single-family homes would not suddenly mushroom into multiple semi-detached homes or apartments.
With just nine service connections to allocate, the township would not even be in the position to service semi-detached homes which would require more hook-ups, explained chief administrative officer Susan Duke in response.
“Certainly, that is going to have an impact or bearing on the nature of the development of the area. The other way of regulating it would be to incorporate that restriction into the zoning bylaw; in other words – frame the bylaw so that only single detached residential units will be permitted in that area,” said Duke.
Hosea also raised concerns about the quality of the soil, as the area is one given to historical filling with foreign materials.
“There’s all kinds of junk in there: I think somebody’s going to be in for a shock if it is developed,” he said.
A soil engineer is now working with the developer to test the materials and remove all the material that has been filled over the years; and to make sure that what is left is compacted properly before new fill is added, Duke said.
A large percentage of the site is subject to GRCA regulations as it and portions from several other properties in the area fall within a floodplain that has grown, she added.
Council will deal with the application at a later date when it has received input from agencies such as the Grand River Conservation Authority and the Region of Waterloo.