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Dissent pours in over proposed waterfront development

Developer set to host public open house at end of month

The city has been flooded with letters speaking out against a proposed development near Oshawa’s lakefront. Late last month saw more than 200 people come to city hall to speak out against the proposal.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Residents are keeping the pressure on city hall as letters and emails continue to flood in opposing a proposed waterfront development at the end of Park Road South.

At the latest meeting of the development services committee, over 90 pages of correspondence from various residents was received, the large majority of them strictly stating their opposition to the pair of proposals being put forward by Graywood Developments. Others detailed their various concerns, including the damage to wildlife habitat, loss of trees, traffic and safety issues, noise pollution, safety concerns and the loss of privacy.

All of these concerns were also heard when a group of more than 200 residents filled council chambers last month for a planning act meeting that stretched until nearly 2 a.m.. At that time, nearly 30 residents spoke, almost all of them flat-out stating they were in opposition to the development going forward. Since that time, further opposition has sprung up on social media, with residents detailing their concerns on Facebook and other avenues.

During the development services meeting, Councillor John Aker, the committee’s chair, assured residents that any movement on the project was going to take time.

“These two proposals are going to take, at minimum, a lot of work,” he said. “We’re working on your behalf, that’s all I can say…Nothing is going to happen on this file for some time.”

Aker looked to Paul Ralph, the commissioner of development services, to drive home that point, with the latter noting that “no decisions are being made and staff are working on the file.”

Graywood’s proposals are twofold. The first proposal (Block A), is a 1.12-hectare wedge of land directly on the corner of Phillip Murray Avenue and Park Road South. The plan is to place eight block townhouses with a total of 56 dwellings and 132 parking spaces. The second (Block B) is a much larger proposal for a nearly 26-acre site sitting directly on the waterfront of Lake Ontario, south of Renaissance Drive and west of Park Road South. Block B could see 216 units erected on the site, including 184 single detached dwellings and 32 semi-detached units.

Graywood has set a date for a public open house to hear more from concerned residents. The meeting is set for Feb. 23 at Lakewoods Public School (323 Chaleur Ave.) from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.. In a notice announcing the open house, it’s being described as an “informal meeting” to discuss the proposals with the proponent and their consulting team.