Back to the drawing board for Victoria Park development plan?
LONDON, ONT -- It may be back to the drawing board once again for City Hall's Victoria Park Secondary Plan.
The issue being how tall should buildings be around the edge of the park.
The planning department's latest revisions to the plan found little support from neighbours, heritage advocates, or developers.
The Friends of Victoria Park community group worries that tall buildings would cast shadows on the park, increase wind, and negatively impact the neighbouring houses in the Woodfield heritage conservation district.
“Intensification does not mean density at all costs. Even five stories is increased density we need to protect the green islands in our concrete jungle,” says Mary-Ann Hodge with Friends of Victoria Park.
Auburn Developments' Steve Stapleton showed a video depicting high rises that may be approved along Wellington, including his company's building at the corner of Wolfe Street.
Arguing for greater height, Stapleton said houses along Wolfe Street are in transition, most having become rentals and offices.
Both sides oppose the latest plan that recommends up to 30 stories around the southern half of the park and a 45 degree angle plan determining heights in the north east corner.
There was near universal agreement on one point: that city hall releasing the 241 page document on Wednesday for a Monday night public meeting provided insufficient time for anyone to consider the complicated issues.
The committee unanimously recommended referring the report back to staff for more consideration and more public consultation about building heights, housing affordability and sound mitigation from festivals.
“I think we are going to have to have another public participation meeting,” said Councillor Jesse Helmer.
Staff expects the Victoria Park secondary plan to be back in front of the planning committee in May or June.