Friday, August 12 2022

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A four-story condo project in Walkerville vehemently opposed by potential neighbors has been given the green light by the city council’s development committee.

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Despite pleas from 19 delegates fearing for the future of the heritage area, the committee on Monday approved the rezoning of a former church site on the corner of Kildare Road and Devonshire Court to allow a 23-unit condominium building instead of three single-family homes. The decision is still subject to full board approval.

District 4 Com. Chris Holt said he recognizes people’s ‘passion’ for the issue, but supports the project – located just a block from his home – to give future Walkerville residents more housing options .

We are very proud of what we do in Walkerville

“I’ve backed these kinds of infill projects, some even bigger ones, in very comparable neighborhoods,” Holt said after nearly three hours of discussing the issue. “It should come as no surprise to anyone listening to this that I support this. It’s really in my garden.

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Windsor City Council approved a condo development at Devonshire Court and Kildare Road in Walkerville on Monday March 7, 2022.
Windsor City Council approved a condo development at Devonshire Court and Kildare Road in Walkerville on Monday March 7, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Many of the delegates’ scruples stemmed from the difference between the proposed “box-shaped” building and what they expected on the ground. Following community consultation in 2016, the demolition of the former St. George’s Anglican Church was approved with the understanding that three high-end homes would be built in its place. At the time, the town’s heritage planner, John Calhoun, said the design of the houses “should respect the character of the surrounding neighborhood” and called these single-family dwellings the “best possible result” to preserve the overall integrity from the historic area of ​​Walkerville. However, Calhoun’s report was not binding.

At a virtual condo development open house last May, local residents said they felt caught off guard by the new proposal from a new owner, a numbered Ontario corporation run by the man. local businessman Mike Spineti. The previous owner of the land would not have been able to sell the three single-family lots.

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“We’re very proud of what we do in Walkerville,” said Spineti, who lives a few blocks from his proposed development and owns several properties in the neighborhood. “The building we offer here, we will take just as much pride in.”

Still, residents have echoed concerns they have voiced for months in emails and letters to the city administration. Along with numerous claims that the size and design of the building would not match the historic district, many have expressed concern about the increased vehicular traffic on the already busy Kildare Road, one of two streets linking the only point of access to the building: an east-west driveway. Residents are also concerned about the privacy of those with nearby backyards – although no homes directly adjoin the property – as well as whether the 30 parking spaces offered by the property will suffice.

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Artist's rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church.
Artist’s rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church. Picture by handout /Windsor Star

Antonio Buttice, who lives opposite the lot, noted the developer’s requested relief from the minimum front yard depth requirements (just under two meters instead of six meters) and the minimum rear yard depth (just over a meter instead of seven and a half meters). He called it an “absurd attempt to cram a clearly oversized building onto undersized land”, and said the development was setting a “dangerous precedent”.

Jennifer Bastiaan, one of Buttice’s neighbours, called the development “pure nonsense”. Her husband, Roger, said the proposed rezoning left him “with grave concerns and a sense of betrayal”.

  1. Residents of Olde Walkerville are angry at a proposal to develop four-storey condos on this vacant lot on the corner of Kildare Road and Devonshire Court, presented on May 13, 2021.

    Neighbors outraged by condo project for former Walkerville church site

  2. A billboard advertising a new apartment complex in the 1400 block of Lesperance Road on Tecumseh is displayed Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

    New apartment complex proposed for Tecumseh

  3. Windsor County Jim Morrison is shown in Roxborough near Northwood on Tuesday February 8, 2022 where several trees have been cut down to build new homes in the area.

    Councilor urges action on ‘loophole’ allowing woodlots to be clearcut

Others said the condominium would destroy the area.

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The developer’s planning consultant, Tracey Pillon-Abbs, said the building was designed to blend into the neighborhood with advice from heritage consultants. It will also provide a “buffer” between existing homes and certain businesses.

“This is by no means a modern condo,” she said. “It was designed specifically to address some of the unique character of the area.”

Committee Chairman and Ward 3 Council Rino Bortolin also supported the rezoning request, telling delegates that the condominium building was not high-density but would fill in the “missing middle.”

“The neighborhood is not just yours because you live there today,” Bortolin said. “It’s just as much for the people we’re trying to attract to the neighborhood, to the city.”

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Windsor City Council approved a condo development at Devonshire Court and Kildare Road in Walkerville on Monday March 7, 2022.
Windsor City Council approved a condo development at Devonshire Court and Kildare Road in Walkerville on Monday March 7, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star
Artist's rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church.
Artist’s rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church. Picture by handout /Windsor Star
Artist's rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church.
Artist’s rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church. Picture by handout /Windsor Star
Artist's rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church.
Artist’s rendering of the proposed Devonshire Court condo complex on the site of a former church. Picture by handout /Windsor Star

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