No High Rise Buildings in Single Family Home Communities

No High Rise Buildings in Single Family Home Communities

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Southwood Lakes Residents Association started this petition to Windsor City Council

Proposed 167 Unit residential (with some commercial space) condo development consisting of three six-storey buildings in Southwood Lakes on a vacant lot on the south side of the Church. 

Residents of Southwood Lakes (SWL) and the surrounding area strongly oppose the proposed development for the following reasons:

Incompatibility with current neighbourhood development: the proposed development is not compatible with the adjacent uses of land. The whole area around the proposed development consists of single-family homes of up to two storeys in height. The proposed six-storey development is not in line with the character of the neighbourhood. 

Traffic Issues: Currently, there are no turning lanes on Howard Ave in the location of the proposed development. There is concern that major stacking will occur and negatively impact the flow of traffic. Egress out of the site heading southbound on Howard will be difficult. 

It will result in increased traffic on the internal streets of the Southwood Lakes Subdivision due to drivers passing through internal roads to avoid Howard Ave and taking shorter internal connections to connect between Howard Ave and North Talbot Road. These internal streets have pedestrians crossing the street frequently, making them ill-equipped to handle increased traffic. 

Flooding Issues: Many Southwood lakes homes have dealt with flooding caused by stormwater system capacity issues in recent years, leading to thousands of dollars in damage for homeowners. There are no storm sewers along Howard Ave and the Southwood Lakes subdivision sewers lack the capacity to accommodate the proposed development.
The proposed development, if allowed, will worsen the already bad stormwater flooding situation.

Security: SWL residents have been battling security issues in the neighbourhood for a long time and this development, especially the commercial development, will increase such problems.

Noise pollution: The residents next to the proposed development will constantly be disturbed by the flow of traffic right behind their backyards. 

Light pollution and Privacy: The new development will contain powerful parking lot lights, commercial signage, and other building lights. These light sources will direct bright light into the existing residents' yards and windows. Further, a massive 6 storey construction in a neighbourhood consisting exclusively of ≤2-storey homes will compromise privacy as residents on the upper floors of these buildings will get a bird’s eye view of their neighbours’ backyards, swimming pools and homes.

Undue pressure on existing amenities: the proposed development will add 400+ residents to the neighbourhood. This will overcrowd the parks/ playgrounds in the Southwood Lakes area. It will also put pressure on area schools that are already at or above capacity.

Unhappy and concerned Residents: the residents of Southwood lakes and the City of Windsor are extremely concerned about this dangerous pattern of haphazard multi-storey projects in Windsor. In recent times quite a few multi-storey projects have been approved by the city council which are detrimental to the interests of existing homeowners of single-family home communities around those projects.

Windsor residents feel that there is nobody to safeguard their interests. In the name of need-based change, the city councillors are collectively overlooking the interests of residents of the city. 

This dangerous pattern of haphazard development with a pro developer stance is not in the interest of the public as a whole and will destroy the distinct identity of Windsor.

Any flexibility available in The Planning Act in this regard is more relevant to the needs of the big cities like Toronto where the land is extremely scarce. The flexibility should not be used to promote multi-family high-rise developments next to suburban single-family home communities in Windsor.

As City of Windsor residents, we want to see more responsible City planning in which low-density single-family home communities like Southwood Lakes are protected from these monstrously huge developments. 

As the needs of our city change, as residents we expect the City to advocate for robust long-term solutions. Multi-unit projects belong on vacant land away from suburban low-density single-family home communities. They should be planned carefully with the proper infrastructures and amenities like wide roads, bike lanes, traffic stops, robust sewage and stormwater management systems, and parks within walking distance. If the City wants to mix single-family home developments with other low to high-density developments, then they should be part of the master plan from the very beginning so that the purchasers of the properties in those developments are aware of the situation before they buy. The existing owners of the properties in various communities should not have to deal with unfair treatment and unpleasant surprises.

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