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Hespeler townhouse development gets green light from council

Eight street-fronting townhomes coming to bungalow property at Guelph Avenue and Fletcher Circle
The home at 355 Guelph Avenue that IBI Group will demolish to accommodate the construction of eight-free standing townhomes.

The third time's the charm for a developer behind a townhouse build coming to Guelph Avenue and Fletcher Circle in Hespeler.

On Tuesday, council approved a rezoning application to allow eight street-fronting townhomes to replace a bungalow at 355 Guelph Ave.

The move comes after meetings to gather public feedback last summer led the developer to reduce the height of the townhomes, revise a site plan to add more space between the townhomes and neighbouring properties, and come up with a plan to save more mature trees.

In December, staff recommended council approve nine townhomes for the two properties, but in a close vote, council asked the developer to go back to the drawing board again. 

Coun. Mike Devine said he shared neighbourhood concerns about nine townhomes being too many for the property.

After council deferred its decision, city staff met with the developer again, this time to agree on a revised submission for eight townhomes to address concerns over density and provide a streetscape that is more in line with other properties in the area.

Four of the freehold units would front onto Guelph Avenue and the remaining four units would front onto Fletcher Circle. The property can accommodate up to 28 parking spaces on site, including two garage spaces in each unit and two in each driveway.

The developer plans to apply to sever each of the lots through a committee of adjustment application.

“We do have a housing crisis and we do need more product,” Coun. Nick Ermetta said in agreement with the staff assessment that a project of this scope meets the city’s and region’s intensification targets.

“But I don’t think it should be done at any cost. I’m just concerned about putting too much on a site in an existing neighbourhood. That much of a change is very concerning.”

Coun. Jan Liggett offered her reluctant support to the project with the understanding some neighbours won’t be happy.

The city will collect about $350,000 in development charges from the project.