Cumberland has been looking for residential infill projects to provide increased density and more affordable housing.
At the Jan. 24 meeting, council considered permit applications for a proposed 56-unit manufactured home project on a 3.29-hectare parcel at 3025 Royston Rd. The site is already zoned for manufactured homes, but the applicant has requested a manufactured home permit, development permit and a variance, which would reduce the primary access road width from eight metres to 6.5 metres and for a required second access to a public street to be emergency access only to the private road at Trent River Main.
In terms of density for housing, manufactured homes are considered medium density. With this development, there are plans for an internal road network and green space.
Council did have some concerns. Coun. Jesse Ketler liked the attention to wetlands and a small green area, but she would like to see more for future residents.
“It would be nice if there were more amenities within the development itself,” she said, pointing to features such as a barbecue area or picnic seating.
Another concern was whether the project would provide any opportunities for connectivity with nearby trails. Coun. Vickey Brown, who did stress the need for more affordable housing options in the community, raised concerns about wetlands and the need to educate people, perhaps through signage, as well as about the vegetation planned the actual residential area.
“There are literally no trees in the development area,” she said.
Coun. Sean Sullivan had questions around the proposed road width in light of the wastewater flood plain, especially in light of the potential for more severe weather events. The village’s flood plain bylaw has setback regulations for any construction close to rivers, streams and creeks.
At the end of the meeting, council received questions about the proposal from a few people raising some of the same questions around trail connectivity and rights of way in light of the variance request, while others questioned whether the village was prepared to handle more people.
Council passed a motion to refer the proposal to its advisory planning commission for comment. The applicant has placed the required signage at the site, according to the staff report, and is required to hold a public neighbourhood meeting prior to the matter going before the APC.