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Published on Thursday, September 21, 2017

Midtown roads plan causes anxieties

Mayor says Midtown property owners' anxieties are premature

Midtown roads plan causes anxieties
Map of proposed changes for Midtown Oakville
Town of Oakville map
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

Property owners located in what will be the Midtown Oakville area voiced concerns about their futures as the town discussed possible changes to the road network during a Sept. 11 meeting of the Planning and Development Council.

Midtown Oakville, which is located south of the QEW and along Trafalgar Road, is a designated urban growth centre expected to accommodate a minimum of 20,000 people and jobs by the year 2031.

“Naturally, change at this scale will require major infrastructure changes,” said Lesley Gill Woods of the town’s Planning Services Department.

“This will unavoidably alter or eliminate many existing properties, buildings, and uses over the long term.”

Some of those proposed changes include:

• A new north/south crossing of the QEW

• The extension of Iroquois Shore Road connecting to Royal Windsor Drive

• The realignment of North Service Road east of the extension of Iroquois Shore Road

• The realignment and extension of Cross Avenue to Royal Windsor Drive

• The realigned sections of South Service Road along either side of Trafalgar Road

• The new Station Road west of Trafalgar Road

The report to council emphasized the proposed changes to the transportation network are not imminent.

They also have yet to be included in the town’s 10-year Capital Forecast.

Even so, those who have property in the area are getting nervous.

Karen Bennett, representing Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp and Davis Road LP, voiced concerns about the proposed network having a significant impact on her clients’ office property at 354 Davis Rd.

“The proposed realignment of Cross Avenue and removal of Davis Road eliminates Algonquin’s existing access onto Cross Avenue and will result in a loss of access to Davis Road,” said Bennett.

“The replacement of these accesses will not be possible because the curved configuration of the new Cross Avenue results in poor sight lines.”

Bennett noted, as things currently stand, it will be impossible for the businesses at 354 Davis Rd. to survive at that location.

She called on the town to consult with the Ministry of Transportation to ensure these businesses will have the street access they need.

Community Development Commissioner Jane Clohecy noted issues like road access would be ironed out when the project gets to the detailed design phase.

Simon Fung, representing 1090 South Service Rd. property owner Marmar Investments Ltd., noted the Cross Avenue extension as planned would go right through his client’s property.

More concerning, it would go through a building on that property, Fung said.

“The property is currently being leased out by two tenants. The impact of the road to the building would likely render those two businesses inoperable,” said Fung.

“Not only would these tenants lose their businesses, my client would not be able to use the land.”

Fung said his client understands expansion needs to happen, but called for a reduction in the impact to this property, preferably by leaving the building untouched.

Those present also heard from Robert Ackerman, who represented 349 Davis Rd. owners 1539059 Ontario and Powell Insurance Brokers.

He said his clients’ entire property would be required for the Cross Avenue extension and questioned what exactly all this trouble for the business community would accomplish.

“The expense for the taxpayers of Oakville is going to be enormous,” said Ackerman.

“The real question that should be asked is how much of a difference is this going to make to the traffic patterns of the area? It doesn’t appear sufficient consideration has been given to that question.”

Ackerman said the project would be very disruptive for the existing businesses in the area that may be displaced.

He noted his clients employ more than 40 people and are fearful that it will be difficult to find a comparable property to accommodate them if their existing facility is taken.

The Planning and Development Council ultimately voted to approve the updates to the Midtown Oakville plan.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton assured those present that their concerns were premature and would be dealt with when the project reaches a later stage.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News




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