Aldershot Greenhouses wants back into the proposed new Major Transit Station Area.
In a June 11 letter to the Region of Halton, the land owners’ representative asked why the property, which was originally included, has now been removed.
“There was no assessment, planning rationale or information to clarify why the subject lands were removed and not included in the proposed MTSA boundary, whereas they were included by the City in its Official Plan Review study”, wrote the planning consultant.
The MTSA, composed of lands adjacent to the GO Station, is planned to be a major growth area over the next few decades. Nearby property owners, with development ambitions, want their lands to be part of the anticipated intensification. There is money to be made.
Originally, when the City proposed including the greenhouse property, it was projected to someday accommodate street-level townhouses and apartment buildings up to 11 storeys.
The Region’s proposed boundary does not include the Greenhouses and it is the Region that makes the final decision.
The letter argued that the Greenhouses are ideal for intensification and could be easily connected to the GO Station via a pedestrian pathway through Grove Park.
“The subject lands represent a unique opportunity, due to their size and redevelopment potential to allow for strategic intensification within walking distance of the GO Station (and) can implement appropriate buffering and setbacks to the surrounding mature neighbourhoods”.
The letter acknowledges that during an April meeting Regional staff tried to explain why the Greenhouses were not included in the latest proposal.
“Staff advised that they removed the subject lands from the MTSA boundary as a result of removing Grove Park, and the lands to the south that included an existing place of worship and Aldershot Park. The rationale provided was that these areas were part of an existing established neighbourhood and should not be part of the MTSA”.
The letter calls the Region’s reasoning “completely contrary to integrated planning principles”.
Aldershot Greenhouses have been in Aldershot since 1954. The business is on a 4-hectare site located at the end of Gallagher Road, near Holy Rosary School. It is also adjacent to the railway tracks which puts it in alignment with the MTSA.
The letter was filed at the Region’s June 16 statutory public meeting but there was no response.
No member of Regional Council, including members of Burlington Council, responded publicly to the letter’s accusation that: “To date Aldershot Greenhouses has not received any formal response to their written comments on their request for the Subject Lands to be included within the Aldershot GO MTSA”.
The City of Burlington is about to commence detailed planning for the Aldershot MTSA anticipating eventual approval of the Region’s proposed boundary.
By Rick Craven