By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
A developer hoping to build a controversial townhouse development at 231 York Road has appealed the City of Hamilton’s failure to respond to his application.
In an information report received by planning committee members this week, city planners state the Official Plan and Zoning-Bylaw amendment applications were received in November, 2011 and circulated to city departments and other area agencies for comments on Dec. 1.
The report states the applications were never brought to a public planning meeting “because of issues raised through the circulation.”
According to city planning staff, the development proposal does not comply with the intent of the Town of Dundas Official Plan, and fails to show that the proposed 18 townhouse units on a 0.42 hectare site is a form of intensification ever actually envisioned in local planning documents.
“..staff was of the opinion that the proposed development would not be compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood,” the information report states.
Planning staff also suggest the proposed development would create “unsafe sight-lines along a curve of York Road” by providing sight distance looking east from the proposed driveway of 67-metres when 85-metres is required.
Despite a number of revised concepts offered by the applicant – Recchia Homes of Ancaster – planning staff hold the position that no townhouse proposal has been submitted that maintains the intent of the Town of Dundas Official Plan.
“In particular, the large unbroken mass of the townhouse blocks are, in staff’s opinion, not compatible with surrounding development from a massing perspective,” the report states.
Until a suitable built form is found, staff suggests there’s no way to know whether the required driveway access would provide adequate sight lines along York Road.
Any applicant can appeal to the OMB if a municipal council has not made a decision on an application after 180 days of receiving it.
On August 28, 2012 lawyer Nancy Smith of Turkstra Mazza filed an appeal on behalf of 231 York Road owner Recchia Developments Inc. The president of Recchia Developments is Fernando Recchia of Ancaster.
Residents of the neighbourhood surrounding the proposed development site have long opposed the townhouse plan.
Neighbours support a less intense form of development, in the form of a few single family homes, arguing the proposed scale is not in keeping with existing residences in the area. A group of neighbours have actively opposed the townhouse idea for the past four years.