Milton residents worried about proposed condo development, say the town is getting less family-friendly

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Published November 2, 2023 at 4:50 pm

milton residents worried about proposed condos
Rendering by Mattamy, courtesy of the Town of Milton

Several residents spoke to Milton council about their concerns regarding a zoning change application that could see eight new high-rises constructed in an area that some people say is already too “chaotic” when it comes to traffic.

At an Oct. 23 council meeting, multiple residents came forward to express reservations about a proposed plan to increase density on a parcel of land on the northwest corner of Regional Road 25 and Britannia Road. 

The zoning application, put forward by Mattamy, proposes the construction of new buildings that would range in height from 12 to 15 stories and also include about 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

The original public meeting was held five years ago in 2018, when the proposal was for five six-storey buildings with 833 units. The requested increased development has triggered the need for new consultation with the public.

The lands are bounded by a creek corridor along the west property line and a creek corridor and stormwater management pond to the north. 

If approved, the development would bring an additional 1,700 residential units to the town, something some residents said would significantly increase congestion in the area. 

The first resident to speak said that based on his analysis of Statistics Canada data for the town, that area could see 800 more vehicles on the road during rush hour.

“None of us are against high density, but insufficient infrastructure for a high-density neighbourhood,” he told council, saying that people who already live in the area were not expecting such a huge increase in density when they purchased their homes. 

“There is Insufficient infrastructure to put 5,000 more people in that small pocket. Look at the intersections and how far the school and parks are. We need to think twice. It will destroy the quality of life of existing residents and we’ll invite in new residents and put them in bad shape as well.”

At the meeting, Catherine McEwan, a representative of the Oakville-based Korsiak Urban Planning, spoke on behalf of the applicant and said that Mattamy is listening to feedback and refining the application in response to it. 

McEwan told council the parcel is close to multiple schools and parks and that the goal is to create “safe, liveable, complete communities” within the Boyne survey secondary plan. 

“We’ve been working with town staff to refine the concept and we continue to,” she said, adding that the developer is gleaning inspiration from a variety of other developments. McEwan also mentioned the creation of a promenade along the western perimeter of the site that would connect to an existing pedestrian and bicycle network.

One resident said the promenade would not be good enough for the families and children anticipated to move into the area. 

“There are no parks in this community. I’ve lived in Milton since 2004. You walk anywhere, 10 mins, 15 mins, you’re in a park. It’s a beautiful community, beautiful schools and trees. I loved raising my children in Milton. This is not the Milton that I am comfortable with, that I’m used to,” she told council. 

She was particularly critical of the promenade suggestion. 

“If you walk the trails they’re talking about, it’s all overgrown, swampy…there’s no gravel on them. The nearest school is a 30-minute walk from this community. It’s just going to be too congested. We would prefer a smaller building, but it’s too many buildings and too many people and there’s nothing for families. Kids want a park. They want swings.”  

Coun. Sarah Marshall also voiced concerns about green space.

“This area really lacks park space for the existing residents and the residents you’re hoping to bring, so we hope there’s an appetite to increase green space for these residents,” she said. 

Another resident named Oliver Clarke brought a petition with roughly 200 signatures calling for the size and use to remain the same. He said the petition also calls on Mattamy to provide a park. 

“[We ask] that Mattamy provide a park for people to use that’s suitable for the density surrounding it–not a little swing here and there,” he said, adding that the developer should also consider including EV parking spots. 

One other resident said the area, at its current density, is already difficult for residents to navigate.

“For the last couple of years, my kids have been going to the school and dropping them off in the morning is a very chaotic experience,” he said, adding that the current infrastructure can’t support an additional 800 students. 

“Blocking fire lanes, police giving out tickets, it takes about 15 minutes to drop my daughter off at school every morning. My daughter has been in portables every year she’s been in school, so we definitely don’t have the infrastructure to house more kids or more people in that area. I feel like Milton is a place I can’t raise children anymore because of the construction and all of these high-rise buildings popping up everywhere.” 

No decision on the application was made and council asked for a report to be brought back by staff at a later date.

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