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Published on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Council approves Brantwood parkette

No extra green space preservation for Brantwood school site

Council approves Brantwood parkette
Town of Oakville illustration
Design drawings for the Brantwood development project
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

Area residents will not be seeing extensive green space preserved at the former Brantwood Public School site.

Oakville’s Planning and Development Council voted Monday (Dec. 4) to approve a development plan for the property that will 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 and Palmer avenues.

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.

Council heard from numerous delegations, Monday, including representatives of the Trafalgar Chartwell Residents’ Association and the Oakville Lakeside Residents’ Association, who reiterated resident concerns about the loss of green space at the site.

Several individuals called the proposed 0.15 hectares parkette too small to accommodate the surrounding community.

“We believe that as much green space should be kept as possible throughout Oakville. On this site the play equipment fits, but what is really lacking is any kind of free play space adjacent to it,” said George Niblock, representing the Oakville Lakeside Residents’ Association.

“We would endorse what has been said by others, that three additional lots would really make the difference between a good usable park and one that is pretty limited in its functionality.”

Those present also heard from Charlie Finerty, a local youth and former Brantwood student who currently plays soccer, basketball and other sports at the property.

“I’m 15-years-old. I used Brantwood when I was younger and I still use it today. I know many other young kids, like my three very young neighbours, who go and play at Brantwood,” said Finerty.

“I think it would be an injustice to remove or shrink such a well used space.”

He also called for three lots, in addition to the parkette, to be preserved as green space.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton has previously stated money from the development of the residential units is needed to fund local projects such as the community centre, which will be built a short distance away at the former Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital site.

Town staff noted that if three of those residential lots at Brantwood were converted to green space, as has been suggested, the lost revenue would have to be pulled from the town’s reserves or generated by raising taxes.

Town staff said the redevelopment of the former hospital site would yield green space for the residents to enjoy and pointed to nearby Wallace Park as another place children and youth could play and exercise.

Several residents pointed out Wallace Park does not currently have the amenities to make it attractive to all members of the community.

Ultimately the majority of council voted to move forward with the development with only Ward 3 Couns. Nicholas Hutchins and Dave Gittings voting against it.

“We went into this process with the intent of controlling what happened at that site, to try to make sure we didn’t have a situation where a developer took the site and brought forward some crazy application that just would not fit in the community,” said Ward 6 town and regional Coun. Tom Adams.

“I think what we’ve got here does that. It ensures protection of the stable neighbourhood and the character of the neighbourhood. I recognize the desire for more green space. In the broader community the hospital site will have green space on it like never before.”

Ward 5 town and regional Coun. Jeff Knoll called for the closure of the park space at Brantwood to be deferred until a redesign of Wallace Park could be undertaken to make it more community friendly.

Town staff said this possibility could be investigated.

Hutchins said he could not support the motion.

“This is too small to really allow for much play other than on the monkey bars and swings for very small kids,” he said.

“Why not give them at least enough space to throw a ball around?”

Gittings said that with 12,000 people eventually coming to Oakville through the development of Midtown green space is more important than ever and more will be needed.

Burton noted that overall the community would be gaining two acres of green space through the former hospital lands redevelopment.

“The thing that weighs most on my mind is that I can’t vote to do something for one street that I can't afford to vote for for every street,” he said.

“We have something like 10 or 11 streets that are faced with this very same issue.”
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

Tags: Oakville Hospital

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