By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Despite the concerns of neighbours, Chatham-Kent council has paved the way for a trio of new apartment builds in the municipality.
At the March 20 planning meeting, approval was granted to a numbered company to construct a two-storey complex on Harvey Street in Chatham.
However, going forward final approval hinges on whether the structure will be connected to the storm water sanitary sewer system.
The application called for a zoning change to medium density residential, to allow for the construction of six one-bedroom units including parking spaces for one vehicle per unit at the back of the property.
The long narrow vacant lot is located between Lacroix and West Streets and is surrounded by a mix of single detached homes and existing low-rise apartments.
Two deputations were made on the matter. One neighbour said he is worried the properties will be neglected, similar to what’s occurring at other properties owned by out-of-town landlords. Another resident said he’s concerned the building won’t “fit the neighbourhood” and will potentially block the sunlight from his property.
CK planning manager Anthony Jas told council the proposal will be placed under a holding provision until the builder connects to the storm sewer.
A second numbered company was given the go-ahead in Wallaceburg after council rezoned a property on Murray Street, south of Reaume Street. Council opted to change the designation from residential low-density to residential medium density to allow for a six-unit row housing build.
Each two-storey unit will contain an attached garage and additional parking spaces.
An existing structure on the property will be demolished to make way for the new housing.
Council also rezoned property at 50 and 60 King Street East in Chatham, between Adelaide Street and Daniel’s Place to allow for the construction of multi-storey apartment building that will potentially hold up to 20 units. The application was made by N2 Energy Solutions Inc.
According to director of planning services Ryan Jacques, the building includes affordable units within the complex, as the applicant is applying for grant funding to subsize the build.
Some questions about adequate parking were raised, but Jacques said the parking ratio should be fine, as prospective tenants usually don’t own more than one car with some not having a vehicle at all.
Jacques said the new construction projects are good examples of “infill intensification.
“It is good to increase density in existing settlement areas to increase the tax base,” Jacques said. “The more infill development we have, the less reliance we have on expanding into farmland.”
The meeting also saw change ta zoning designation in Blenheim to green light the construction of a six-unit townhouse by First Family Homes. The new build is to be located in an existing subdivision at the north end of Lanz Boulevard.