2012-07-31 at NOON
A developer is looking to construct apartments on a vacant lot on Ravenwood Avenue.
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Opposition has mounted against construction of four proposed apartments going up on Ravenwood Avenue.
Council passed a number of zoning bylaw amendments at Monday night’s meeting including one to allow the construction of four four-unit apartments on a currently vacant lot near the Oliver Road Community Centre. The community centre and neighbourhood used the 3,480-square metre area as a green space for years.
The city sent out a notice of the developer’s intentions and received letters and emails objecting the proposal. The main reasons for the halting of the project was because those in opposition felt it would increase traffic flow and parking congestion.
Wilma Wood, president of the Oliver Road Community Centre, opposed the development because she said it was too much in a small space.
“We have a lot of traffic that comes off of Ravenwood that would have to go past those four four-units and into our parking lot,” Wood told council on Monday. “I am very fearful that our parking is going to be inhibited. We need to keep our space for us as parking is always an issue.”
Andre Jolil, who lives in the area, said the area wasn’t designed to handle an apartment like the one being suggested. It would be better for the area if the developer instead built five duplexes that would create 10 units instead of the proposed 16 units, he said.
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“(The proposed apartments) would create a shortage of parking space,” Jolil said. “We’re not objecting to development of the property. Eventually it has to happen. The city has to try to intensify the density by maximizing the use of the land but not by doing it in an adverse effect to the existing neighbourhood”
Brook Mcilroy planner Guillaume Neault said when he talk to neighbours in the area they asked if what they were doing was related to the rezoning that took place two years ago but he assured them it wasn’t as it was a different property owner.
He said the four apartments would add to the rental stock units and help Thunder Bay’s vacancy rate, which he added was low.
“There is a need, in our opinion, to stimulate the rental market,” Neault said. “We don’t see a concern for traffic circulation or any imminent traffic impact with additional on street parking. I think all the parking will be accommodated off the street.”
He gave the example of the former Queen Elizabeth School that was turned into rental apartments as a success story similar to what they are proposing.
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