Ontario Municipal Board ruling allows high-density housing

Proposal to be redesigned to meet new restrictions

Guelph, ON, April 26, 2013 – A ruling from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) means plans for a student housing development at the corner of Gordon Street and Stone Road can proceed. Abode Varsity Living could build up to 11 stories near the intersection, and up to nine stories on the rest of the site.

Initially, the developer proposed building up to 16 stories on the site. Before going to the hearing in October, the City, Abode and the Mayfield Park Community Association discussed several concepts hoping to agree on a design that would be more in keeping with the character of the neighbourhood.

The OMB applauded the City and Abode for collaborating on the design concepts, and in its ruling the Board decided the property at 716 Gordon Street would be suitable for buildings up to an average of 10 storeys.

“Current zoning on all opposing corners of the intersection allows up to 10 storeys, so the ruling on building height is not surprising,” said Scott Worsfold, Deputy Solicitor.

While the decision supports Abode’s plans to pursue amendments to the City’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law, the Board imposed several restrictions to address concerns raised by the City and neighbourhood residents.

“The OMB took these concerns seriously and made efforts to ensure the development would be compatible with existing buildings, and would not overpower the intersection,” added Worsfold.

The Board noted that neighbouring properties and the surrounding area are characterized by having trees at the front, and buildings at the back, and accepted the City’s recommendation for greater landscaped setbacks along Gordon Street and Stone Road. The OMB also imposed restrictions to further limit the height of buildings on the east side of the property—near the Mayfield Park neighbourhood.

Questions about the proposed development should be directed to the Katie Nasswetter in the City’s Planning Services department 519-822-1260 extension 2356 or katie.nasswetter@guelph.ca.

Read the Ontario Municipal Board ruling

For more information

Scott Worsfold
Deputy Solicitor
Legal Services
519-822-1260 extension 2442