By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
City hall is debating the merits of an application to build a condominium at the empty lot across from Costco on Ritson Road.
The lot, located at 133 Ritson Rd. N., has been empty for years and, according to Ward 1 City Councillor Rosemary McConkey, has “looked like an eyesore for years.”
Council has approved a recommendation from staff on the revised applications from WinStone Developments to amend the Oshawa Official Plan and Zoning bylaw to permit the development of an eight-storey apartment building.
The amendment would see the lot re-designated from a “special purpose commercial” site to a residential site
The building, which would be marketed as a standard condominium, would house 106 apartment units, 75 stacked townhouse units, and 36 back-to-back townhouse units.
However, while council approved the amendment to the Oshawa Official Plan and the zoning bylaw, there were some concerns from one of the ward councillors.
Ward 4 City Councillor Derek Giberson said residents have sent letters expressing their apprehension.
He said residents are concerned about traffic, noise, and dust, but he also acknowledges the need for something to be done with the lot.
He said while he appreciates the work staff have put into evaluating these issues, his concerns lingered.
“What sort of experience do we have in terms of developments like this?” he asked.
Commissioner of Development Services Warren Munro attempted to assuage Giberson’s fears by pointing out there are a number of “checks and balances” in place to manage his concerns, but he wasn’t fully convinced.
“I am sure that if things aren’t going the way they should, we will hear about it,” said Giberson.
He notes this is a win-lose scenario for residents no matter what happens, as the building could bring valuable business to the area, but will also increase traffic in an already busy street.