Greater Napanee council voted 4-2 to forge ahead with a proposed Reid Street development on Tuesday, accepting a staff recommendation.
Proposed by Red Tree Development, the plan is to develop a parcel of land on Reid Street and Dundas Street into residential dwelling units, consisting of a mix of approximately 48 townhouse units and three detached units with a private community centre and pool.
Council had heard from residents of neighbouring Slash Road and Reid Street at their previous two meetings, expressing their concerns over the access road, construction traffic and viability of the road to support the increased traffic.
In a recorded vote councillors Shaune Lucas and Carol Harvey voted against the motion, which had a few components to it. The first was that council consider and decide on the merits of written and verbal submissions received up to and including the council meeting. The second was that if new information or input received raise points for further consideration, the report and opinion could be revisited as needed.
A common complaint among the current residents who spoke out against the proposed plan was they felt Reid Street was not a proper access point for the development. They raised concern for young kids playing near the road.
“I wish there was an inclusion of two entryways to this where one could be deleted in the future,” said Lucas. “When you don’t start with two, it’s hard to add a second.”
“What I’ve heard from the public is there’s no disapproval of the development,” added Lucas. “What I’m hearing from council is there’s no disapproval of the development. What I am hearing, meeting after meeting, is the common denominator of access.”
Harvey stated she’d need more information before she could support the motion.
“My big concern is the structure of the road, the width of the road, and the fact there’s no lanes, sidewalks or shoulder and it’s only 21.5 feet wide. I don’t want to see the taxpayers of Greater Napanee pay for the upgrades of Reid and Slash. It will be millions and millions of dollars.”
In response to the viability of the road, Nancy Cornish of Kingston’s IBI Group cited a study they had conducted and had been peer reviewed by AECOM and the town. The study found the road would support both heavy trucks travelling down it during the construction process and the increased usage following the completion of the development. She pointed out that should the town choose to do so, they could pursue a geotechnical study of the area, though AECOM stated they had no concerns in that regard.
“They’re all viable arguments,” said councillor Roger Cole. “There’s concerns of the citizens and the folks that live on these streets. I understand that. I live in a construction zone, I lived there for eight years and it’s going to continue. I have no control over that…I try to see both sides of the fence. The developer has had an engineering firm do the engineering plan and present them to the town. This is what I want to do, these are plans that I have, this is what I’m going to do. The town have hired an engineering firm to peer review it and identify if there are any shortcomings…By in large our peer reviewers have said the plan is a good plan.”
Councillor Max Kaiser hoped the developer would meet with residents throughout the process to help reach an agreement that satisfied everyone.
“I like to think that Red Tree Development is a responsible corporate citizen in the community and that they would be fair and considerate at least to have dialogue to have reasonable consideration of the issues and that (town) staff would also have those conversations,” said Kaiser.