Anchorage Road subdivision gets cautious thumbs up from Commissioner

By Craig Westcott \ May 18, 2023

The Commissioner charged with considering whether a portion of Anchorage Road, CBS should be rezoned to accommodate a new subdivision has submitted his report and is recommending it proceed, but with stipulations.

The proposed 35-lot residential subdivision, which would include infill lots on Anchorage Road and Minerals Road, drew a vocal group of neighbours back in January at a public forum where they raised concerns about flooding, property values, loss of trees, damage to a waterway, traffic and other issues.

The developer needs to re-zone land located at 240-258 Anchorage Road from Residential Low Density to Residential Medium Density and Open Space Conservation in order to proceed. Veteran municipal planner Stephen Jewczyk was appointed as the Commissioner to consider the rezoning and weigh the concerns of people in the neighbourhood.

Planning committee chairman Rex Hillier told council Tuesday the Commissioner’s report is comprehensive.

“There are some things in there that really the Commissioner is not letting us off the hook on, and some things there that he would like to see as the development moves forward,” said the councillor-at-large.

Among the Commissioner’s concerns is the possible impact on Cross Brook, which runs through the property. 

“This amendment (to rezone) provides for a 15-metre buffer for Open Space Conservation (zoning) where Cross Brook passes through the property,” Hillier said. “Development which was taking place within 15 metres of Cross Brook will no longer be permitted, so officially there will be a buffer along Cross Brook.”

Hillier said the Commissioner also suggested that council undertake a study to map the risk of flooding in the area and that it be part of a Land Use Impact Assessment Report prior to any development taking place.

“We know that there’s been flooding in the area, the residents certainly expressed their concerns about flooding in the area,” Hillier said. “The Commissioner recommends that the Town set up a Registry of Flood Complaints to track over time the flooding that takes place there.”

The Commissioner also recommended that measures be taken to ensure there is no net increase in stormwater run-off during the construction phase. 

“And he talks about some specific concerns that residents brought forward that need to be dealt with at the development stage, such as the topography of the site, any possible connection at Minerals Road, fish habitat, and impact on private wells,” Hillier said. “In the end, he recommends that the Town proceed with the rezoning.”

Hillier said he was presenting the report so that council can use it as it makes a final decision on the application, “which will be some weeks down the road.” 

In the interim, he added, the report will be posted on the Town’s website for public viewing.

“We’ll make it public as you said,” Mayor Darrin Bent noted. “I want to thank the residents who came to the hearing and offered their concerns and historic knowledge of what happened down there. It sounds like from the recommendations that all of that was considered with the idea of protecting the residents from their concerns and also the environment down there as well. Of course, that will have to be part of any prudent development going forward, and council will absolutely look at all that and move forward with that recommendation.”

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