LONDON, ONT. -- The Friends of Meadowlily Woods are rallying support in their fight against a condominium development across the road from the environmentally significant area (ESA).

Meadowlily Road is an environmental oasis in southeast London frequented by those seeking a quiet break from city life.

“It’s up to London. If you love this place and want it, you have to speak your mind,” says Andrew Stolarski, who lives down the road from the ESA.

A numbered company, 2690015 Ontario Inc., has applied to build a small subdivision of houses and townhouses at 101 Meadowlily Rd. S.

Following a contentious Planning and Environment Committee meeting at City Hall on Oct. 5, 2020, the developer has modified the plan in an attempt to address the concerns of neighbours and conservationists.

The new proposal features 88 total units (36 houses, 52 townhomes), one fewer than the previous design.

Meadowlily Woods development lots

The height of the buildings has been reduced from three storeys to 2.5 stories, and on-site parking has increased from 10 spaces to 31 spaces.

There is also a landscaped buffer strip separating the residential site from the adjacent ESA and nature preserve.

“It’s been modified,” says Ward 14 Councillor Steve Hillier. “The neighbourhood has had its say a couple times already, and to be fair the neighbourhood will never be happy because it’s development right next to a very beautiful ESA.”

But opponents are preparing to argue that their fundamental concern has not been remedied -- the scale of intensification within an environmental oasis.

Meadowlily development

They say the winding tree-lined road was never intended to be a residential connector route.

They’d prefer a small number of single-family homes lining the west side of the road.

“Twelve to 16 homes would be a perfect fit, because you’ve already seen the top of the hill where there’s a few homes,” adds Stolarski.

A report by city planners recommends the development be approved because it meets criteria set out in The London Plan.

“This does check a lot of the boxes on The London Plan, so it’s going to be hard to stop it,” admits Hillier. “But I’m glad to see they’ve modified it and I’d like to see it more nature-friendly.”

The Planning and Environment Committee will hold a public meeting and consider the rezoning request March 29.