North Bay City Council saw numerous presentations on Monday evening regarding the proposed property development slated for Ski Club Road.
It began with a local resident who, after studying the proposal, came up with an abbreviated idea to buffer the street with trees and increased parking while reducing the unit density from 50 to 42 in the process.
Other residents of the area made their concerns known to council regarding traffic safety as well as water runoff, historical and environmental impacts the proposal would have on the watershed of Trout Lake.
Councillors Judy Kozial and Tanya Vrebosch saw merit in the ideas brought forward and questioned whether the unorthodox practice of returning the proposal to committee for consideration might warrant the council’s energy to help improve the proposal.
Councillor Dave Mendicino, initially behind the proposal for a number of years, says he felt there was little to be gained from continuing to examine the proposal but in the end the residents at least for a time, got the development put back on the drawing board for city planners to review.
“Quite frankly, if that option was available, it would have been brought up by now but certainly the will of council is to keep it in committee and go to the developer and see what they think about this latest proposal from the resident and that’s what staff is going to do,” says Mendicino.
The development originally approved and zoned as an area for single dwellings and semi-detached homes that carry a higher residential value, is being considered for rezoning by council to be downgraded to town homes and high density condominiums that residents feel will bring excessive traffic and lower property values to the adjacent properties in the area.
Beyond that, other residents felt strongly that the aquatic streams that run year round from the hill, formally the sage complex, will be heavily impacted and disturb the natural balance of runoff into Trout Lake, directly in the path of the city’s drinking water source.
Some of the folks presenting felt deceived by notions in the media that this development was a forgone conclusion when in fact, the amendment had not yet been passed and extensively reworked from the initial design and density that the local community had accepted.
While it is yet to be unknown if any adaptations from the developers most recent plan will take place, local residents bravely and repeatedly stuck to their concerns that council honour their points of view and developing the areas surrounding their investments and homes and not just the speculative land developers looking for a building permits.