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Residents push against proposed Bond development

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

A proposed five-storey retirement home at Bond Street West and Stevenson Road North was met with more concerns from residents in the area, asking for council to turn down the development.

The building, proposed by Hillsport Developments Inc, is a 129-unit retirement home with ground floor commercial use for a clinic and pharmacy.

For the development to move forward, council would need to agree to rezone the property to allow such uses.

Residents of the nearby King’s Valley subdivision that backs onto the lot are upset for many reasons with the proposal, many of which they raised at Monday’s development services committee.

The group that crowded city hall’s committee meeting room voiced concerns such as noise, loss of privacy and the decrease in property value.

It is not the first time these concerns were raised. When the initial application from Hillsport was received at the city in 2011, the proposal included two buildings. During a public meeting at that time, residents called the development a “monstrosity.”

Residents continue to ask the city to move the development elsewhere.

“Why not take this building and put it up north with everything else,” said resident Mike Logan, referring to the heavy development in the city’s north end.

Logan also says the pharmacy is not required, as there are approximately nine pharmacies within a two-kilometre radius of the proposed building.

Other residents stated the amended plan is actually worse than the first, stating the one building may have been eliminated from the plan, but the now-proposed single building is higher than before.

“What has changed now to recommend the approval of this proposal?” resident Matthew Paplyk asked.

Also at issue was a proposed walkway.

Currently, a footpath bisects the vacant lot, which is used by residents and transit users to access Bond Street.

The first plan saw the path follow almost the same route and passed through the developments proposed parking lot.

Now, the path has been shifted to the far west side of the property, abutting the backyards of homes.

Residents were concerned the path would form an alleyway, leading to safety concerns.

However, Paul Ralph, the city’s commissioner of development services, says the original proposal was the unsafe one.

“It was felt that it was not a safe walking arrangement to go through the middle of a parking lot,” he said.

Despite the concerns, the report was passed unanimously through committee, and the approval of the rezoning will be left to council at their next regular meeting on May 19.

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