Residents who live near Light Rail Transit should prepare for spinoff impacts of a $1.2-billion development boom expected before 2021.
And while I see that boom as healthy intensification, I’m concerned about preservation of eight established neighbourhoods in Ward 9.
For that reason I would urge residents to pay close attention to the content of upcoming municipal plans.
About a dozen high-rise towers are among large core developments planned between Cameron, Victoria, Joseph and Weber streets which will include 1,000 apartments and 2,000 condos that will swell the downtown population from 2,400 to 6,000.
I believe resulting pressure will impact on communities like Victoria Park, Schneider Creek, Cherry Park, Mount Hope, Mill-Courtland, Highland-Stirling, Rockway, Cedar Hill and other inner-city neighbourhoods.Residents should also consider the fact that, since LRT was approved, regional government has issued $2.4 billion in building permits along the entire transit corridor in Kitchener-Waterloo.
I agree with University of Waterloo architecture professor Rick Haldenby, a Victoria Park resident and advisor to Kitchener planners, who recently told the media he welcomes change but wants protection of older neighbourhoods, preservation of heritage and priority for affordable housing. He also wants a quality design standard for buildings that will form Kitchener’s future core plus an attractive focal point for the $43-million LRT hub and the 30-plus-storey condo’ towers planned at the Victoria and King transit hub.
Ward 9 meetings:
* Development of 270 Spadina Ave (Spadina-Highland) tower, Kitchener City Hall, Conestoga Room, 6.30 p.m.-8 p.m., Tues. Jan 16.
* High-rise development by Momentum involving the former Huck Glove building at Victoria and Bramm Streets, Conestoga Room at Kitchener City Hall from 6-8 p.m., Weds. Jan 24.
* Preliminary development of former Schneider’s site at Courtland-Borden at Cameron Heights Collegiate cafeteria, 301 Charles St.E., Thurs. Feb. 1 at 7.15 p.m.
* Drewlo high-rise development at Charles-Cameron block, Conestoga Room, City Hall, 6.30-8p.m., Tues. Feb. 6.