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Published on Friday, October 13, 2017

Residents want more greenspace

Oakville residents' associations call on town to preserve Brantwood green space

Residents want more greenspace
Old Brantwood School site
Area set aside to preserve playground is darker gray at Palmer and Douglas
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

Several local residents’ associations are calling on Oakville council to take another look at the future of the Brantwood Public School site, which is currently on course for residential development.

The Halton District School Board closed the 221 Allan St. school back in 2010 and sold it to the Town of Oakville in 2012.

Options for the future use of the property were explored in the town’s South Central Public Lands Study and in 2013, following extensive public consultation, council endorsed a recommendation that the property be redeveloped.

The current plan would see the building of seven detached dwellings fronting onto Douglas Avenue; the conversion of the front portion of the school building into four to nine condominium apartment units; and the creation of a parkette at the corner of Douglas Avenue and Palmer Avenue.

On Wednesday (Oct. 11), the town’s Planning and Development Council held a public meeting to receive comments from the community about the plan.

They encountered considerable opposition to the loss of green space, which would occur on the eastern portion of the site if the development went forward as is.

Trafalgar Chartwell Residents’ Association representative Denise Purcell called on council not to rush the development and to defer any decisions on this matter until options have been investigated to preserve the green space on the site.

“Brantwood is a true neighbourhood park used daily by children and adults of all ages,” she said.

“Its loss would have a significant negative impact on quality of life in the neighbourhood.”

Council also heard from Joshua Creek Residents’ Association representative Janet Haslett-Theall who argued the parkette proposed for the property is far too small.

She said the plan had been more palatable when it was believed there would be significant green space in the former Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital lands redevelopment.

That green space, Haslett-Theall noted, has not materialized.

George Niblock of the Oakville Lakeside Residents’ Association said land values have changed since the South Central Public Lands Study was done.

He said the town may be able to get the financial requirements it needs through the sale of the school portion of the property.

Niblock called on the town to investigate that possibility and forego the development of the seven detached dwellings on the site currently occupied by green space.

Another resident questioned why the town had purchased the property and why the town was developing it.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said the town purchased the property to maintain control over it, noting that if the town hadn’t purchased it then a developer would have.

“We would have had a fight at the Ontario Municipal Board,” he said.

Burton said the town is looking at developing the property because revenue is needed for other local projects.

“As the community came together to argue for and persuade council to build a community centre (at the former Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital site), council had to have a faint hope at least of being able to cover the costs of it,” said Burton.

No decision regarding the development was made Wednesday night with council simply voting to receive the comments from the delegations.

Burton noted council would consider what it had heard.

“For as long as I have been here, council has been very good at listening to people,” he said.

“We don’t always do what we are told, but we listen.”

The matter will come before council at a later date.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

Tags: Oakville Hospital



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