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Letter to the Editor – Residents express concern over apartment development

Local NewsLetter to the Editor - Residents express concern over apartment development

We are writing to highlight the ongoing concerns regarding the proposed building of a 4-storey apartment condo complex (“Phase Two” at 575 Conklin Road) adjacent to property at 601 Conklin Road. Despite the denial by the Committee of Adjustment for Brantford of the developer’s recent minor variance application, the developer’s subsequent appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal continues to exceed the limits of what constitutes a minor variance.

In Brantford, a minor variance is defined as a minor change to the Zoning By-law for a specific property. The Committee of Adjustment may approve the variance if it maintains the general intent of the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law, if the proposed development is appropriate, and if the variance is minor. However, in this case, the requested variances are outside the perimeters of the by-laws and cannot be considered ‘minor’. In fact, this “Phase Two” of the development was not on the builder’s original plans for the site. An entire new building is much more than a “minor variance.”

Additionally, there are concerns regarding the developer’s ability to address stormwater management issues adequately. There is insufficient evidence in the developer’s appeal to suggest that they will take care of major water runoff issues in a satisfactory manner, without it leading to property damage at 601 Conklin. This further highlights the unsuitability of the proposed new development.

It is crucial to prioritize the well-being and safety of the residents in our community. The negative impacts of this proposed building, including the irreversible diminishment of quality of life for residents at 601 Conklin through privacy infringement (as upper floors of the proposed new building will have a direct sightline into the yards and decks of residents at 601 Conklin), and destruction of originally planned greenspace, outweigh any ill-perceived corporate benefits. Furthermore, the increased traffic flow and lack of sufficient street parking in the area are already pressing issues that will only be exacerbated by the construction of this additional building.

The variances requested are not minor, and the negative impacts of this proposed building are too significant to ignore. 

Sincerely, 

Andrew and Carolyn Doerksen
Brantford, ON

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