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Environmental impact, traffic concerns brought up for proposed Schomberg development

Development proposes to build six-storey apartment building at 326 Main St.
May 11, 2022
Laura Broadley

A proposal for a six-storey apartment building with 73 residential units is getting some pushback by residents who say the development as it is proposed doesn’t fit in with the character of Schomberg.

Marcor Realty Ltd. has proposed a zoning bylaw amendment to develop the building and 111 parking spaces at 326 Main St. The application also proposes to convert the existing heritage building for commercial uses.

Schomberg resident Mary Asselstine, along with several others, attended a virtual public meeting to raise concerns to council.

“This is a very, very complex proposal in terms of our concerns,” Asselstine said in an interview. “Our concerns start with traffic.”

If the proposal is approved, Asselstine said she expects several cars to be coming in and out onto Main Street, which already has a “substandard” roadway with a lot of traffic and parking issues.

“There’s big safety concerns with respect to pedestrians,” she added.

In addition to traffic and pedestrian concerns, Asselstine said a six-storey apartment building wouldn’t blend into the streetscape of Main Street.

“The streetscape is going to be altered completely by this huge building that’s going to be there that’s not going to fit into the heritage character at all. It just can’t happen,” she said.

The height of the building would not only create shadows for adjacent properties, but for the Dufferin Marsh, Asselstine said.

“Much of the Dufferin Marsh is going to be in shadow for the afternoon, and that will have a huge impact on the plant communities and the animal communities that are currently living and thriving over there,” she said.

Birds flying through the marsh may not be able to detect the glass of the building, she added.

“(The building) is a wall of glass that goes up six storeys, and I can just anticipate all kinds of dead birds,” Asselstine said. “It’s not proposing any true mitigating of any kind in order to protect the features and functions of the Dufferin Marsh.”

Mayor Steve Pellegrini said the proposal is in the preliminary stages and public meetings are there so the public can voice their concerns or support for the project.

“This was a statutory public meeting to be heard by the public. This is their opportunity whether in support, have concerns or against. This is vital to democracy,” Pellegrini said.

Pellegrini said public meetings work well because all questions, comments and concerns are put in a document and addressed in a subsequent report.

“I’m extremely proud of this community and how engaged, thoughtful, intelligent and respectful the presentations were,” he said.

Pellegrini said the presentations during the public meeting were “incredible.”

Council and the applicant are listening when people voice their opinions during public meetings, Pellegrini said.

The availability of affordable units, traffic and environmental impact of the proposed development among other issues were all brought up during the meeting, Pellegrini said.

“Everybody was very pleased with the result of the meeting,” he said.