Letter to the Editor – KPS Apartments

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Dear Editor,

There comes a time when the process of challenging and appealing a decision becomes so onerous and financially draining that one has to stop. It takes thousands of dollars in legal fees etc. and it quickly becomes clear just how futile and exhausting it is to fight a developer’s plan.  Such was the appeal to the Land Tribunal pertaining to the planned 168 apartments in three four-storey buildings to be built on the old KPS site.  

This appeal was filed on the behalf of all those 22 plus households surrounding this property.  We applaud the attempt, and our views on the matter have not changed at all. We still want prudent, sensible development. Unfortunately, we view the plans for this property as aggressive and too ambitious for the amount of available ground. The plans are also not sensitive to the existing bungalows and homes in the area and do not address the housing shortage for the most modest income citizens.

People stand and gaze at the old KPS site and they have no idea that there is a 10 meter wide ribbon of land running the length of the south side of this property that cannot be built upon.  It is a hydro easement used for servicing the poles. This severely restricts the amount of land available for buildings and necessary parking spaces.

The building closest to the park does not have the proper required amount of “frontage set back” and is closer to the Riverside Park boundary than it should be. The same building has one corner with a “side set back” of only 4 meters from my neighbour’s back gate. The minimum allowed is 8 meters! The same infractions have happened with the buildings that parallel Prescott St and Blossom Ave.

Although the appeal was withdrawn, it is at least satisfying that the resulting opinion from a generated report came to the same conclusion as those living near this site.  

The author, Mr. Allan Ramsay MCIP, RPP, a city planner with over 22 years experience working for the City of Burlington and 5 years with the Town of Oakville and now owning his own consulting firm, reviewed all the material and said that this was an obvious “overdevelopment of the site”  and that “the Applicant has not demonstrated that adequate municipal services are available or can reasonably be expected to be available in the near future.”  

To the best of my knowledge, there is still a “holding provision” notation that the Municipality has put on this project and as a result, construction cannot start.  The aquifer can only support so much and the aging sewers are also likely inadequate.  

So while concerned people are trying to get this project “right”, please do not view delays and careful planning as a “hindrance” just because we disagree.   We will be living with the consequences of this project for a long time.   

All we ask is for a housing project that is in harmony with the rest of the residential community.

It is important to remember that the ultimate goal is to have housing that supports people, not housing to support Kemptville’s downtown.  

There is a difference.

E. McGreavy

 

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