Cambridge residents will have a chance to let council know what they think of a proposed development for 193 Water St. S.
A public meeting planned for 10 a.m. Tuesday around the matter will open the floor to those that wish to register their feedback on the five, 15-storey apartments buildings being proposed for the area.
A staff report part of the agenda says the new development will add a total of 991 dwelling units to the city's stock. The proposal, put forward by LJM Developments Inc., lists one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartment units, as well as two-storey townhouses for the approximately 19,000 square metres lot. Vehicle access to the development is proposed solely from Water Street South via future access easements established from adjacent neighbouring properties to the north and south (183 and 201 Water St. S.).
Along with the dwellings, the developer is proposing five levels of parking in the form of above-ground parking garages that are visible solely from Water Street South. The proposed parking garages will provide a total of 1,176 parking spaces, where 99 spaces are exclusively for visitors. The proposed development is also planned to provide 693 bicycle parking spaces.
The property currently contains no structures and is covered by a woodlot. The report says the construction will require the removal of approximately 659 trees, 275 of which will be done through permits. The applicant is proposing to replace the majority of the trees that are planned for removal.
LJM Developments Inc. expects that many of the trees can be planted within the setback area between the proposed development and the rear lot line of abutting low density dwellings along Highman Avenue, as well as along the Rail Trail or in nearby parks.
An existing house on 62 Highman Ave. will be demolished to accommodate a parkette, which will be open for public use.
The proposal, when it first came to the attention of residents on Highman Avenue, drew a lot of concern.
Two Highman Avenue residents, Chrissy White and her husband Cory, first noticed the sign posted on their neighbouring property and were "devastated" by the proposal.
Finding out that property was sold to a developer last year was upsetting enough for the new homeowners who were told any development would be 10 years down the line. “And suddenly it’s not taking that long?” Chrissy said
She said everyone she’s spoken to since the sign went up is “very upset” because they bought a home on a mature street for a reason.
In addition to concerns about pollution and traffic, Chrissy is also worried about an influx of children into nearby schools that are already crowded.
When she shared her concerns on Facebook, others added to the discussion what bothered them about the proposed development.
One of the biggest costs is the loss of trees in what, according to one post on Facebook, is a protected green space, adjacent to the flood plain and on a protected well head.
"The trees, soil and vegetation in this area help to capture, filter and replenish the well where Galt gets its drinking water," wrote Tammy McIntyre.