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Published on Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Old hospital lands project moves forward

Residents anxious about clarity and certainty of the features

Old hospital lands project moves forward
Old hospital site and master plan
Hospital lands plan - Courtesy of the Town of Oakville
Local residents’ associations are calling for more certainty and planning detail as the town continues to move forward with the redevelopment of the former hospital lands in the Reynolds Street and MacDonald Road area.

Oakville’s Planning and Development Council voted last week (Oct. 11) to receive comments from the public regarding changes to the area’s zoning.

The changes would permit the construction of a community centre and park, some residential development, the preservation of the former Oakville Trafalgar High School (OTHS) and parking garage, and an area for future seniors-oriented housing.

In a report to council town staff said the park would be about 82 metres by 66 metres in size (1.5 acres).

The report lists the community centre as being 45,000 square feet and states that an area of low density residential development, intended to accommodate 19 single-detached lots, would be established along MacDonald Road and Allan Street.

An area of medium density residential development composed of 16 freehold townhouse lots would be located in the northeastern section of the development.

The seniors-oriented housing area would be .69 hectares in size.

During the meeting council heard from Paul Ambrose representing the Trafalgar Chartwell Residents’ Association and the Oakville Lakeside Residents’ Association.

He said that while the associations supported the bulk of the plan they had concerns about the future of a proposed civic space that would be located to the west of the school.

Ambrose said one portion of the report appeared to suggest this land might be sold to private developers.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said this is not the case.

“The civic square in front of the hospital will be public no matter what we do around how it is developed. We will use our planning powers to guarantee it,” he said.

“I am kind of surprised the idea ever came up that we would lose control. The whole point of this exercise since we got the land from the hospital has been community control. We retain the vision that no private entity would be able to play if they didn’t respect the plan.”

Janet Haslett-Theall of the Joshua Creek Residents’ Association said the misunderstanding about what was happening with the proposed civic space is evidence the community needs certainty and called for language in the plan that really locks in what will occupy that land.

“What specifically will that civic space be,” she asked.

“Because what you think of as a civic space and what we think of as a civic space may not be the same. It is better to have clarity.”

Council also heard from George Niblock of the Oakville Lakeside Residents’ Association who called for the seniors’ housing to be built independent of OTHS.

He argued retrofitting and renovating the heritage structure for that purpose would prove too complex.

Council ultimately voted to receive all these comments.

Further planning for the site will come before council at a later date.

The community centre and park are scheduled to open in fall 2020.

For more information visit www.oakville.ca.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

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