Reading Mayor Peckford’s message in the last NG Times, I would like to make a few comments. It is good to see her engaging with NG’s residents through the newspaper and hear hers, and others’ thoughts on North Grenville. We moved to the area in 1990 and have looked at recent development with trepidation.
Mayor Peckford states “…..offer a range of housing options…..are walkable, have appropriate greenspace and are attractive to look at”. Agree wholeheartedly with having a ‘range of housing options’. But, apart from the downtown core, Kemptville is NOT a walkable town: one has to have a car to get to the Hwy 43 mall; there has never been a sidewalk along Hwy 43; try walking around the mall; and sub-divisions have no sidewalks. Does walking along the side of a road constitute ‘walkable’?
I would also contend that Kemptville’s new housing is not “attractive to look at”: it all looks the same as any other development anywhere else in Canada. When the new sub-division next to Food Basics was mooted, the developer built three nice showhouses. I don’t see many (any?) of those houses within the development. However, it is good to see local builders making an effort to build houses with some modicum of design features and uniqueness. We salute them.
A tree canopy by-law would be most welcome. However, as we see all-too-often, developers smash down and flatten all living things at the commencement of any development: look to the west of Food Basics. How will this by-law be enforced? Once a mature tree is cut down, it is not going to be replaced easily, and silly little fines are just a cost of doing business for developers. So, so often trees are “accidently” cut down with virtually no recourse to the perpetrator, so unless the by-law has REAL teeth, it will be ignored.
One other comment: Kemptville’s motto is “Green, and Growing”. In a new sub-division close-by, over the past three months, we have watched dump truck after dump truck after dump truck of fill being trucked in to raise the level for the new houses. The planners allowed the development to proceed in, what is essentially, a swamp. In all likelihood, each house will have to run a sump pump. Added to this, each new house has at least two vehicles (most more) because the occupants have to travel into Kemptville for services. We fail to see how any of this amounts to “Green”.
Kemptville is not unique any more. Sadly, it has very little to differentiate itself from any other small town in Canada. It has a non-descript, cookie-cut mall on its outskirts with an underutilized downtown; moving around requires a vehicle; and out-of-town development has just increased traffic and created more pressure on infrastructure. Perhaps it might be time to think differently….really differently! Hopefully, NG’s new CAO, Mr. Dyke, will have some interesting and intriguing ideas…..I wonder.
Andrew M. Thriscutt