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East Gwillimbury residents ask for fence to buffer from new development
March 1, 2017
Simon Martin

The fault lines of new development in East Gwillimbury are easily seen sprinkled around the population centres of town. New development sprouts up next to established neighbourhoods in Holland Landing, Sharon, Queensville and Mount Albert as the town gets set to welcome new residents.

There are few better illustrations of this than Hillcrest Drive in Holland Landing. Once a remote estate subdivision on 2nd Concession, residents now find a school and the new Anchor Woods subdivision being prepared in their backyard.

While development was always expected, residents on Hillcrest got real insight into what the construction was like this past summer with increased noise, dust and general disturbance resident Ian Proudfoot said.

He spoke on behalf of 20 residents who signed a letter at council Feb. 22 asking for a buffer to be constructed on the north side of Hillcrest Drive to shelter the properties from the development.

“We do recognize and accept that there will be an impact to the enjoyment of our properties during the construction phase, but our concerns are not limited to the construction phase of this development,” Proudfoot said.

The residents believe a two-metre wood fence with some plantings along the property line would provide an adequate buffer. “The cost of this buffering should be borne solely by the developer, with no costs to the homeowners and should be completed prior to any home construction,” Proudfoot said. “There is no mandated obligation to provide a buffer, but it is the right thing to do.” 

Council directed staff to work with residents to find agreeable solution. Director of Planning Nick Pileggi said staff are in the process of preparing a subdivision agreement for the site. 

This isn’t the first time residents on Hillcrest Drive have been involved in a development issue. When the new French Catholic school was proposed on 2nd Concession, the driveway was originally planned to have an exit on to Hillcrest. Proudfoot pointed out that the town, school board and residents were able to find a solution that satisfied all parties in that case.