Espanola developments get green light

Espanola developments get green light

The Sudbury Star

Published Oct 05, 2023

The bulk of the most recent regular Espanola council meeting was devoted to three public hearings for zoning changes to accommodate residential development and a commercial venture in the town.

The hearings are where developers, and/or their affiliates, present their proposals for zoning amendments or variances and members of the public have the opportunity to provide input and ask questions.

Olivadel Developments has been building just off of Queensway Avenue for several years. Their initial project is called Brentwood Village and promises residents “new garden townhomes for mature lifestyles.” The neighbourhood is comprised of both single family attached freehold homes as well as rental properties.

After acquiring additional land adjacent to their on-going project on what is now named Yusko Crescent, Olivadel began making plans for further new housing, which at one point included single family detached homes fronting on Queensway Avenue, as well as an apartment building backing on the east side of the existing homes on Yusko.

However, the developer is now building a duplex on Queensway Avenue and just obtained approval to proceed with three 5-plex row housing units.

A few Yusko Cres. residents, who bought into a vision that they now feel has largely been abandoned, raised concerns they have over the continuing construction and updates to the project.

Mary Bishop, who lives on the corner of Yusko Cres. where it turns onto the soon-to-be Brentwood Court, spoke at the hearing, asking council to add linking Brentwood Ct. with Queensway Ave. as a condition of approval. The linking of the two roads would be both a long-term measure to cut down on the amount of traffic flow on Yusko Cres. once the units are rented, as well as provide another interim access point for construction crews.

She also asked for the developer to maintain trees and vegetation in the area (Olivadel representatives and JL Richards, the town’s consultant, say that a seven-metre buffer will be required between the current homes and the new 5-plexes). Bishop would also like to see alternate green space added, since some of the previous parkland was offset “in lieu of” cash. She would like to see the relocation of the storage site for materials and construction equipment, as those living at the south end of Yusko (herself included) have been subjected to noise and dust for three years while construction has been on-going.

Bishop compared the new 5-plex renderings to those of a motel, saying they are inconsistent with the designs of the existing development. She also wondered out loud how a small builder like Olivadel can deliver on such ambitious plans, given that many of the homes on Yusko have yet to be fully completed, citing that there is only one year remaining for them to live up to their obligations.

Mary Gavel, another Yusko Cres. resident, echoed Bishop’s concerns about the frustration and disruption stemming from on-going construction in the small development.

Council approved Olivadel’s plans, but told residents that their concerns have been heard.

The second and third public hearings did not receive any requests from the public to speak. The Manitoulin-Sudbury District Social Services Board, in an effort to trim the lengthy waitlist for housing in the area, is embarking on a single level, 10-unit apartment building.

The building will have one-bedroom apartments and be owned and operated as geared-to-income housing by MSDSB.

The previous council had passed on the opportunity for developing the lot where the apartments will be at Mead Blvd. and Queensway Avenue because the parcel wasn’t yet serviced. With the new main trunk line project nearing completion, services will now be made available at the site, which is well into the planning stages.

The former Knights of Columbus Hall at the corner of Second Avenue and Mead Blvd. got the go-ahead to become a medical equipment and supply retailer.

The next regular meeting of council will be held Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

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