Opposition to Existing Rezoning Application for 107 Thode Avenue – R1A to RMTN
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Please show your support and oppose the purposed Rezoning Application for 107 Thode Avenue - R1A to RMTN. We believe this is critical for a number of reasons, outlined below:
Inequity and Unfairness
Current residents of Thode Avenue purchased their homes with verified information that the Ukrainian church owned the parcel of land in question and that the zoning for this land was R1A. For several years, there was even a sign on the land proclaiming it as the site of a future Ukrainian church. As a result, it is not reasonable for the residents of Thode Avenue to foresee the possibility of a low cost, modular condo development (which is what Innovative Residential is well known for developing) in this location. If Innovative Residential is allowed to proceed with the traditional low cost, modular condos that they exclusively develop, there are several negative implications that may result. As residents could not have foreseen these implications, they would be grossly unfair. Furthermore, since these implications are atypical of developments allowed to proceed in the city of Saskatoon, they would be inequitable when compared to other Saskatoon residents impacted by developments in established neighbourhoods.
If Innovative Residential's traditional low cost, modular condos are developed, the following unfair and inequitable implications are at risk of occurring:
• The property values of nearby homes will very likely see an immediate substantial depreciation. This has been verified by real estate professionals.
• The contrast in architectural finishes between the existing homes and the new development may starkly contrast. As stated during the community association meeting on December 18, 2017, the City of Saskatoon is planning on not exerting control over the architectural finishes used in the new development. However, during the construction of their homes, the current residents had a strict prescription of allowable architectural finishes. Therefore, the scenario is quite possible where existing residents were required to adhere to certain types of costly finishes whereas the development across the street chooses finishes that don't fit the neighbourhood because they are more economical. This would disrupt the harmony of the neighbourhood and impair it's desirability.
• The intent of similar City bylaws will be contravened. To ensure orderly and harmonious development of neighbourhoods, bylaws regarding infills have been put into place. This protects the property value of existing residents, ensures the suitability of new developments in existing neighbourhoods and maintains a desirable neighbourhood aesthetic (the streetscape). The intent of this bylaw should apply equally to the proposed development on Thode Ave. Allowing a low cost, modular development on Thode Avenue would therefore be inconsistent, inequitable and contradictory to the intention of this and similar bylaws.
• This type of development would violate part of the City of Saskatoon's mission statement: "Saskatoon continues to grow and prosper, working with its partners and neighbours for the benefit of all". If low cost, modular condos are the proposal, the only party that stands to benefit from this proposed development is the developer. Both existing and future residents would realize a net loss from social and economic perspectives.
We propose that the amount of dwellings on the Thode Ave land be regulated to avoid the concerns below:
• RMNT requires 1.5 parking stalls per dwelling. From my review of the bylaws, there are also requirements for visitor parking etc. In nearly every townhouse complex I can think of, these parking space requirements aren't adequate and parking spills out onto the street. An excellent example is the Aspen Ridge development on Beckett Crescent. The main difference between Aspen Ridge and Thode Avenue is that Beckett Crescent has lots of street parking available whereas Thode Ave does not. Thode's parking is limited because of small front yards and large driveways. As a result, Thode Ave's minimal available street parking is already used by residents and visitors.
• Thode Avenue as a "through" street resulting in a fair amount of traffic. Unfortunately, lots of it is fast moving traffic. We believe some people try and use our street to avoid the red light on Attridge and McCormond. Thode avenue has a very high population of children under 10 relative to most other neighborhoods. Adding more traffic to our street in the way of permanent residents presents an unwelcome safety risk to our children. This concern could be alleviated by limiting the traffic entrance to the Thode Ave land to be from Willowgrove Blvd.
We understand that this land needs to be developed but want to make sure that it's done in a way that maximizes benefit to all stakeholders. We believe the following developments would create the most benefit to all parties involved:
• Gated community
• Single family homes
Ensuring Benefit to the Community as a Whole - Not Only One Party
To avoid the negative implications discussed above, we as a community ought to ensure that this development adheres to some common sense standards to guarantee that the neighbourhood and community at large isn't negatively affected. These standards ought to ensure maximum mutual benefit between existing residents, future residents, the city and the developer. If this is not possible, the benefit of the developer should not be considered above existing and future residents and building permits should not be issued until a development is proposed that truly is a betterment to the community.
Supporting Neighbourhood Planning Documentation
Please see the attached statements from the American Planning Association website which support our arguments above:
The city ought to:
"protect property on which buildings are constructed or altered, to maintain the high character of community development, and to protect real estate within the community from impairment or destruction of value."
"ensure suitability of a structure to its existing or proposed surroundings based upon consideration of the character, appearance, size and cost of the building in relation to the existing and desired type structure in the immediate location or affected area of the proposed construction. The objective being to maintain the most suitable type of structures for and within related units of the area of urban developments."
"Not allow [construction] that will hinder the orderly and harmonious development of the neighbourhood, impair the desirability of residence, investment or occupation in the community, impair the desirability of living conditions, and/or otherwise adversely affect the general prosperity and welfare."
"The intent is to protect property values ... or the general welfare by insuring buildings in good taste, proper proportion and in harmony with their surroundings."
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