Although the Municipality of Central Elgin granted Frank Sherifi's re-zoning application
for Vineden Drive in Lynhurst, allowing a maximum density of up to 12 units in his
draft plan of condominium, at the public meeting on October 21, 2013 area residents
made it quite clear that they were opposed to that density of development.
The Prespa plan, which encompasses an area of approximately 0.74 hectares (1.8 acres),
provides for the development of 12 units for detached residential dwellings. The
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) is the Approval Authority for plans
of condominium in Elgin County.
The subject lands are located within the “Residential” designation in accordance
with Schedule "C" - Community of Lynhurst Land Use Plan, to the Municipality of
Central Elgin Official Plan, and are located within the Residential Zone1 (R1-70)
of the Township of Yarmouth Zoning By-Law No. 1998, as amended. The R1-70 zone permits
the proposed residential development, to a maximum density of 12 units.
"Is this a fait accompli?" Stan Beleutz asked Central Elgin Council at the
7:15 p.m. public meeting. "If that's what this is, I'm in the wrong meeting."
Beleutz said that while he understood Sherifi's desire to make money, he and other
residents had bought their homes in the area some 50 years ago as single family
homes on large lots, and he was here to protect his neighbourhood. "Some fat cat
in Toronto may not like me having a large lot, but that's what I bought, that's
what I have and this is not Toronto. Infilling should not mean destroying existing
The plan calls for an on-site road off Vineden to access the 12 condominium units.
The plan was shown on the screen in Council Chambers but no print-offs of it were
available for councillors to take a close look at the dimensions. All that was readily
apparent was that as many units as possible had been crammed into the area, with
some lots very tiny and not one bit of extra green space. [Another cash-in-lieu
of parkland deal?]
Noting that Land Division had basically rubber stamped the Prespa severance application,
Beleutz said he did not think Council has really listened to the concerns of the
area's residents, ignoring the problems of opening up a dead end street and infilling
at much too high a density, a density that is the antithesis of the original design
of the Lynhurst subdivision. "You don't care about us ... it doesn't seem to matter
what we want. You are creating an enclave in our neighbourhood that will not be
a part of our neighbourhood," Beleutz continued. "We all know this is leading
to apartments at the other end of Vineden... We went through this nonsense before
with the building of Symphony Woods, and we worked that out to make it a beautiful
part of our neighbourhood. If we have to have condos, let's not put 12 into that
little space of ground. Why can't there be a street coming in from St. George, like
Councillor Sally Martyn asked Jim McCoomb what percentage of lot can be taken up
in a plan of condominium; what are the set back requirements regarding fire separations;
about the lot sizes (noting she saw 3 decent sized lots and other very narrow, smaller
lots) and density; and about the possibility of apartments. McCoomb said these matters
are covered under zoning by-laws and the site plan approval process. He did not
tell her what the actual coverage percentage could be or the actual footage of the
set back requirements. He did say that Central Elgin zoning does not currently allow
apartments in the R1 zone at the end of Vineden and the area would have to be re-zoned.
Martyn said she would really like to see the number of units reduced as she feels
they are trying to jam too many in there.
Deputy Mayor Marr agreed with Councillor Martyn, saying he thought 10 units instead
of 12 would be a better fit. He also requested a copy of the map plan so he could
see the dimensions and study the plan.
"Is there any reason we can't run a straight road off St. George?" asked Councillor
Matthews. Mayor Walters said the severance now granted have three lots across St.
George and they many not all be owned by the same person. McCoomb said they did
discuss putting a municipal road off St. George but after all the road allowances,
set backs and services were taken into account, they could only build on one side
of the road in a very small building envelope. Matthews noted that the condos were
planned to all be on one side of the road anyway. He, too, thought 12 units was
way too many for that parcel of land.
Sherifi's agent said storm water management will outlet through St. George Street
and garbage pick up will be curb side at each individual condo unit - not from a
garbage collection area. He also said emergency access can be provided for the units
and the internal street plan meets code. The developer (Prespa - Frank Sherifi)
prefers 12 units in order to maximize the return on his investment.
Council reserved its decision on how many units will be allowed pending further
investigation and discussion by Council.