Despite one complaint about premature demolition, Anthem Properties has won its bid to build a 61-unit townhouse development at Seymour River Place near Maplewood Farm.
Located south of Mount Seymour Parkway, the development comprises five threestorey buildings consisting primarily of two-and three-bedroom units.
Anthem's decision to tear down the houses on the property before winning its rezoning permit was a slap in the face to the district's democratic process, according to Coun. Lisa Muri.
"I will send a message to all developers in this community that it's not cool to go ahead and tear down homes when a decision has not been made," she said at the Sept. 23 council meeting.
The demolition sent a message the project was a done deal, Muri said.
"I don't know why I'm here if that's the case," she said. "I don't think I've ever seen that happen before and I don't ever want to see it happen again."
Muri and Coun. Robin Hicks had previously expressed esthetic concerns about the project, comparing its appearance to a barn and a barracks, respectively.
Anthem has been receptive to council's comments on the issue, said Coun. Mike Little, who congratulated the developer for integrating a variety of textures and feels into the final design.
"I like the way that the developer has varied the front on the building so that as you're looking down you don't get this wall that you're looking across," he said.
Despite Muri's misgivings, the only negative vote on the project came from Coun. Roger Bassam.
"I don't see any redeeming qualities, any reason to be going ahead with this," he said.
The land has potential to be something more than townhouses, according to Bassam, who previously noted the project's proximity to the Second Narrows Bridge and the district's industrial land.
Bassam focused on the project's 12 one-bedroom units, which are 510 square feet on average.
"I've been in garages that are far bigger than that," he said.
The 29 two-bedroom units are between 950 and 1,100 square feet. The 20 three-bedroom units average out to 1,400 square feet.
The maximum height of the buildings is 38 feet.
Because the rezoning boosts the land value by $525,000, Anthem is now on the hook for
a community amenity contribution of $395,000.
Coun. Alan Nixon recused himself from the discussion on the grounds he did not attend the public hearing.
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