Council gets first look at proposed townhouses on North Guelph Beer Store property

Reid’s Heritage Properties is looking to build 96 stacked townhouse units, split into four blocks of 24 units, each up to three stories high, at 710 Woolwich St.
  • In June, the Adjustment Committee approved a waiver request for the Beer Store currently at 710 Woolwich St., which will see the store demolished and a new one built closer to the road.  Townhouses, if approved, would be located toward the rear of

A beer store at the north end of town may soon be replaced by townhouses.

The first of three applications heard by council at its planning meeting on the evening of Monday September 13 was from Reid’s Heritage Properties, which is seeking to build 96 stacked townhouse units, divided into four blocks of 24 units, each of which can reach three stories, at 710 Woolwich St.

This address currently houses a Beer Store location. In June, the city’s adjustment committee approved a zoning waiver.

The issue that sparked the most discussion in council over Reid’s proposal was the developer’s request for no private amenity space for its future residents. Instead, there would be a central common space.

Under city bylaws, a development like this would require 20 square meters of private amenity space for ground floor units and 10 square meters for above ground units.

Additionally, according to the city’s official plan, a residential property would need to have a density of 100 units per hectare to be exempt from these requirements. Reid’s proposal is 86.5 units per hectare.

As to why the developer is seeking this exemption, Dave Galbraith, Associate Director of Planning with the IBI Group and speaking on behalf of the developer, pointed to the property’s neighbors, with Woodlawn Cemetery to the north and a Tim Hortons drive-thru. to the south.

‘Providing balcony space in this area is not the most pleasant outdoor amenity area,’ he said, referring to the donut shop, adding that there were privacy concerns with this. about the cemetery.

He later added that the common amenity space on the site, planned to be around 1,000 square meters, is larger than the combined amount of private amenity space that would be required under city bylaws. .

Com. Dominique O’Rourke, referring to the host of skyscraper proposals in his southern neighborhood that have come up in recent years, wondered why this proposal in the north couldn’t do the same.

“I used to ask Reid’s and the IBI group why they need so much height, so much density. So I’m going to ask you why on this site, where no one would mind, why you didn’t go for the 100 units per hectare,” said Ward 6 councilor.

In response, Galbraith said townhouses are “the preferred form of tenure that is contemplated here”, but added that the developer is requesting a number of additional uses for the property as part of its rezoning application. .

“So if there’s a shift in thinking about what type of accommodation should be offered here, it has flexibility built in,” he said.

With council voting unanimously to formally accept Reid’s application, it is now referred to city staff for consideration. Staff will present the proposal at an undetermined date with recommendations to the board as to its approval.