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Brantford Council approves Arrowdale subdivision

City of BrantfordBrantford Council approves Arrowdale subdivision

City of Brantford councillors approved a proposal for a 764-unit subdivision to be built on site of the old Arrowdale Golf Course during their regular Council meeting on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

Councillors were voting on an official plan amendment application as well a zoning by-law amendment application, submitted by Weston Consulting on behalf of Elite MD Arrowdale Holdings Inc.

The developer, who officially purchased the 32-acres of land on October 31, 2022, is planning to build a residential subdivision that will consist of single detached dwellings, street townhouses, stacked townhouses, a mid-rise (six floors) apartment building, and a high-rise (eight floors) apartment building. The plans also include walkways, a parkette block and a stormwater management pond.

During the meeting, Councillors Linda Hunt and Richard Carpenter brought forward an amendment to the application.

The amendment called to direct City Staff to schedule a meeting with the developer for the end of April 2024, to discuss and develop a strategy for a property maintenance program for the site. The intent is to be proactive rather than reactive and wait for the property to get out of control maintenance wise.

“Last year, we were reactive to what we would consider substandard property maintenance with grass growing six feet high. It’s been a big concern of the neighbours, many of whom are walking out their front door and looking at this every day,” said Hunt. “I wanted us to be as a council, proactive in terms of ensuring that as we go through another year where there’s not likely to be any specific construction activity, that the property maintenance is addressed and that it’s proactively addressed.”

Councillor Brian Van Tilborg noted that it was unfortunate to see the property become so unkept.

“The biggest shame of it is that Arrowdale had been the gem and the jewel of the community in that area. They got to look at something gorgeous and beautiful every day of their lives and then within no time of the transition of possession, weeds started popping, the property became unkept and believe me, by-law was called,” he said. “…I think we all had expected much higher standard when you’re talking about what the quality of the property was prior.”

Hunt’s amendment was passed on a vote of ten to one.

When it came to vote on the resolution as amended, Van Tilborg said that he would not be supporting it.

“The problem is that many people were opposed to the development and the sale, and for those that were in favour, were pitched something completely different and that has sat in their minds for two years,” he said. “…It was supposed to be half the amount of homes, and what we’re seeing now is a significantly higher density just packed in. …We could have created something with public meetings and designed and planned the community better.

Hunt said that she would also not be supporting the resolution.

“The selling feature of 300 single family homes was what was publicly put out there…that is not the community that the City of Brantford is getting,” she said. “We’ve got a subdivision that is not going to look anything like the surrounding, well established neighbourhood that I am proud to say that I grew up in.”

Carpenter said he too would be voting against the resolution and noted that the sale of Arrowdale will never be forgotten by the community.

“This is one of those subjects that everyone’s afraid to talk about because it was so controversial. …Those of you that may think this has been forgotten and that you’ll have another legacy, you won’t,” he said. “This will always be the legacy of that council, and councils going forward. We should not ever eliminate green space in our community, we should never do that and that just shows, to me, a lack of foresight to what the community can be. As the city grows, we need to have more green space, not less. So, you will never have my support, and never have had my support for this.”

The application was then approved by a vote of six to five, noting that Councillors Carpenter, Van Tilborg, Hunt, Mandy Samwell and Michael Sullivan voted against it.

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