Opposition to Rezoning of 819 Millidge Avenue

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The property on the corner of Millidge Avenue and Daniel Avenue (former St Clements/Mission Church) is slated for development. The developer intends to build two 4-storey apartment complexes on this property, comprising 88 apartment units and 70 parking spaces.

Currently the property is zoned for “Neighbourhood Community Facility” (ie. for schools, community centres, places of worship). In order to construct the planned apartment complexes, the property must be re-zoned for high density housing (“Mid-Rise”). The developer has also requested a variance in order to build more than what the Mid-Rise zoning bylaw allows.

On January 21st, the City’s Planning Advisory Committee recommended this application be REJECTED.  The final decision will be made at a Common Council Public Hearing on Monday February 10th at 6:30pm, in the Ludlow Room at City Hall.

This development is largely opposed by the neighbourhood; we are of the opinion that construction of the two large apartment complexes at this location would be detrimental and disruptive to our neighbourhood. Our main concerns are:

-       The proposed development is too massive for the location and is not consistent with the existing character of the neighbourhood. The surrounding residences are almost exclusively single storey bungalows. These apartment complexes would overpower neighbouring homes and destroy residents' front and backyard privacy. We suggest that a smaller-footprint, lower-density project such as a 2-storey multi-unit, townhouses, etc. would be more in keeping with the neighbourhood profile. There are other suitable locations for the proposed enormous apartment buildings, such as Boars Head Road or University Avenue.

-       The developer seeks to overbuild what is allowed by the Mid-Rise zoning bylaw in order to cram even more building onto the available space, and additionally is only planning for 70 parking spaces for the 88 apartments. Millidgeville is not yet a walkable neighbourhood and cars are a requirement. It is foolish to think that residents of a luxury apartment complex will not have a vehicle. Lack of planned parking will result in overflow parking of residents and their visitors onto the neighbourhood roads which were not designed for it, creating issues with parking, snow clearing, traffic and safety of children and residents. Creation of underground parking will also require drilling and will be disruptive to the neighbourhood.

-       Lack of neighbourhood engagement – the developer delivered flyers announcing the project to houses within 100m of the Church property. There was no other attempt to engage with, provide information to, or receive feedback from residents in the neighbourhood. There was no consultation with current residents. This is in sharp contrast to the Gothic Arches project, as well as the project on the corner of Millidge Avenue and University Avenue - in both circumstances, the developers sought out neighbourhood feedback and genuinely engaged with neighbours. Consequentially, both of these other projects have excellent community support.

We ARE NOT AGAINST DEVELOPMENT of this property. We appreciate that the City requires growth and development; however, we must ensure that development of the Church property is thoughtful and well planned, and fits with the existing neighbourhood character, enhances our community, and ensures the safety of our residents. As residents of Millidgeville, we need to be part of this conversation.

The proposed development at 819 Millidge Avenue is NOT RIGHT for our neighbourhood and Common Council should not approve this development.