Amid growing urban development, a newly proposed four-story apartment building on Lakeshore Road, just south of Boyce Gyro Beach, has stirred debate among city council members. The central concern is a classic one: which should come first, housing development or proper transportation infrastructure?
With the vicinity already set to accommodate nearly 2,000 approved units, Coun. Ron Cannan expressed hesitancy about further expanding housing without a robust transportation strategy in place. In response to these concerns, Danielle Noble-Brandt, the policy and planning manager, underscored the upcoming Richter-Pandosy corridor study. This effort aims to delve into the long-term effectiveness of significant thoroughfares, evaluating their capacity and future transit possibilities. She also referenced the urban centre spring work, a broader assessment geared towards reviewing the targets, densities, and other pivotal elements of the urban center.
Shedding light on the intricate balance between development and transportation, City Manager Doug Gilchrist stressed the importance of parallel progression. He explained, “Development and road projects should evolve hand in hand. Rather than first laying down roads and then permitting development, the funding for these road undertakings often originates from the Development Cost Charges (DCCs) collected from these very developments.” Furthermore, he listed potential road expansion projects, such as the Burtch Road extension and the DeHart Road widening, as measures to alleviate potential traffic burdens.
The city council, though divided, granted preliminary approval to the Lakeshore Road apartment project by a 5-2 margin. This green light is seen as a precursor to significant urban redevelopment in the area. While Councillors Cannan and Lovegrove stood opposed, Council members Singh and Hodge were not present during the vote. In another development, a 40-unit, four-story rental apartment proposal for Montgomery Road in Rutland also secured its initial approval.
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