Large housing development doesn’t suit small York Street: community group

June 13, 2024   ·   2 Comments


A group of York Street residents say a proposed housing development for Orangeville is needed, but it isn’t suitable for their neighbourhood.

Town council is weighing a proposal to build 12 three-storey townhouse units on a private road off 11A York St. John Woolner is part of a group of York St. residents lobbying against the town changing its zoning bylaw and Official Plan to allow the development.

Orangeville council will vote on the amendments at a meeting on June 17.

“We’re kind of fighting two battles at once,” Woolner said.

Concerned citizens plan to picket the meeting and there is a petition against the development available to be signed at businesses.

On, a petition titled “STOP 11A YORK STREET” has recieved 320 signatures since launching on June 3.

Woolner claims there are missing components in the preliminary plans he’s seen for 11A York St.

“It’s the right development for the right time in Orangeville,” he said. “It’s just not the right location.

“It’s one of those things that really wouldn’t enhance the character of the street or enhance anything further to our neighbourhood by any stretch. It’s more or less going to be increasing traffic numbers.”

Woolner said there is also the issue of whether or not the municipal water supply can accommodate a development of its size.

Orangeville’s water woes came to the forefront when council discussed changes to the summer Lawn Watering Bylaw during its June 3 meeting.

Deputy Mayor Todd Taylor said at the time that tightened conservation measures weren’t something council wanted to impose on residents. But the reality is the municipality is struggling with its water supply and trying to stave off catastrophe.

A couple of wells that supply potable water to residents are out of service. And one of the water towers on the town’s west side needs to soon be taken offline for maintenance.

Tim Kocialek, the town’s general manager of infrastructure services, said the next two or three years are going to be dicey because of a limited supply and storage of water.

Councillor Andy Macintosh, a former town fire chief, even asked if new large housing developments should be suspended until municipal water issues are worked out.

But Kocialek said that wasn’t necessary as the problem is caused by summer peak use and not consistent use brought about by housing developments.

York Street residents support having the neighbourhood declared a Heritage Conservation District. But town council quashed that idea during a meeting earlier this month, despite petitions and letters of support for the designation by residents.

Once an HCD designation is in effect, any alteration or demolition to properties within the district is subject to a permit approval process.

Mayor Lisa Post said at the time that council makes the best decisions by way of a combination of factors: The expert advice of staff complemented by community participation in the decision-making process.

Municipal planning staff recommended that the effort to have York Street area properties designated as a Heritage Conservation District (HCD) be suspended. Staff suggested an outside consultant be hired, even though consultants had been hired in the past to look into the same issue.

Woolner said the large housing development just doesn’t suit the small street in the middle of old Orangeville.

“It just doesn’t seem in keeping with what our neighbourhood is about,” he said.

“We are not anti-development because we recognize the need for growth.

“We live in a community that is constantly growing. We live in a province that is constantly growing. We fully support projects like this, just it’s not sympathetic or really needed for our street.”

Readers Comments (2)

  1. Lee Moreland says:

    NIMBY at its finest. Build homes. People are homeless. Wake up and stop NIMBy

    • C Parker says:

      Let’s add some fact to this article.
      -12 Townhomes in 2 Building units in not a “large development”- Go ahead and ask a developer.
      -Not all of the York Street Residents support the HCD Designtaion. At the time this article was written many of the residents did not fully understand the HCD and the process as the meeting explaining this process was June 13th at 6pm.
      -Young families, and retieries moving into the neighbourhood would actually enhance the neighbourhood.
      -These residients speaking out against this proposed rezoning are prepared to spend $30,000-$50,000 of tax payer money to “protect” their self interests.These folks could and can have designated thier homes as Heritage Designation part IV at no charge, and still can but they haven’t….why? Because its not enough for them they want Heritage Part V, They want control over the residents that do not want to be part of the Heritage Conservation District, and they want the Orangeville tax payer to pay for it.


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