Highland Gate Development Inc.’s traffic impact study falls short, in the opinion of Aurora resident Gary Grierson.
The second of three public planning meetings didn’t fill the room at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School quite like the first meeting did, but a number of residents still took to the microphone to express their concerns about the proposed development of the former Highland Gate Golf Course lands in Aurora.
The development applications first submitted to the town by Highland Gate Development Inc. proposed 184 homes, a 100-unit condominium building, eight kilometres of trails and 20 acres of parkland that could include a splash pad, tot spot, adult fitness area and meditation gardens.
While the yield for the development has dropped slightly due to some constraints on property size, according to development representative Don Gibbon, residents are still taking issue with increased traffic, loss of green space and ponds, narrow streets, retaining walls and landscaping.
Grierson, who lives in the Highland Green Condominium on the corner of Yonge Street and Golf Links Drive, took issue with the fact that the traffic study that was completed on behalf of the developer concluded there would be little impact on current traffic when the development was complete.
He told council members and the audience that there is already an issue caused by a local coffee shop where cars are stopped and blocking traffic on the street waiting to go through the drive-thru every morning.
There are already a number of existing access points to local retailers and the condo building within 200 yards of Yonge on Golf Links and to add another would be a safety issue as well.
“You don’t have to be a traffic engineer to see this is going to be an issue,” Grierson said. “If you don’t believe me, come stand on my balcony one morning and see the traffic (jam) near the Tim (Horton’s).”
The proposed 10-storey, 144-unit apartment building will just add to the congestion Golf Links Drive is already experiencing he continued, expressing his uncertainty of how the traffic consultants could fail to see the issue.
A request by the condominium board of directors to find an alternative access point for the garage proposed for the apartment building and to reconsider commercial use on the ground level were both refused by the developer, according to Grierson.
All of the peer review documents, with that of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority being the final to come in, the town is continuing to review the applications.
No decision was made at the public planning meeting, however, some councilliors did express some of their concerns.
Councillor John Abel bluntly stated he didn’t support the application as is because, in its current state, it doesn’t fit with the town’s current zoning or official plan.
“You have spoken, and I think I have heard you,” was all Councillor Wendy Gaertner said.
Councillor Jeff Thom took issue with some specific aspects of the application such as the grading that would put on street significantly higher than the existing driveways.
The next public planning meeting is scheduled for Oct. 28.