Apartments Construction

Not everyone passes through Alcona that often and some visitors to Innisfil Beach Park might also be curious about some current construction in the area. Apogee Apartments is  being built as part of Simcoe County’s effort to create more affordable housing in the county.  It is currently under construction on Innisfil Beach Road at the 25th Sideroad. The project is privately owned and operated. Under an agreement with the County, the units must be rented at ‘affordable’ rates for a minimum of twenty years. CMHC describes “affordable” as less than 30% of a household’s pre-tax income.

Apogee3

This building consists of a mix of 55 apartments on six floors. The ground floor will be allocated to retail spaces fronting on Innisfil Beach Road. Residents will have access to indoor and outdoor “amenities” spaces.  Construction was delayed until the OMB (now called the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal or LPAT) ruled on the builder’s request for altered lot setbacks and a reduced number of parking spaces. These changes were approved.

Floor plans and other information are available on the builder’s website, http://www.apogeeapartments.com

 

 

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Movie Night – Friday

Innisfil IdeaLab & Library presents “Fresh Air Flicks”, movie nights at the park – Innisfil Beach Park. This Friday, July 13 it’s the Pixar animated film, Monsters Inc. (rain day, 14th) Bring your lawn chairs and a blanket.

The fun begins with music at 7:00 pm and the movie starts around 9:00 pm. Check the website for the whole summer line-up:

Fresh Air Flicks

 

How to BILD?

The housing builders association (BILD) regularly lobbies for easier access to more land for more single-family housing in the GTA. They expect an average of 115,000 new residents per year over the next 20 years – a total of 2.5 million more residents in the region.

That will require 55,000 new homes every year according to BILD. They have put forward a four-point plan that includes:

“Fair & equitable fees, taxes and charges”

BILD says these make up 25% of the cost of an average new home. These types of development charges are applied by municipalities to recover the cost of installing basic infrastructure – i.e. water pipes and sewers. Development charges can also be levied by school boards and the county.

“The revenue pays for increased capital costs related to hard and soft services that come as a result of more people and businesses moving into the municipality. For example, the revenue could go toward the construction of new sewer and road systems that might not have been required before. The revenue could also be put toward soft services like new municipal recreation centres and libraries.” (A brief explanation of development charges, Toronto Star, March 2013)

These development charges can vary substantially by municipality. Each municipality decides what’s right for them. I don’t think ‘one size fits all’ is a workable approach. The development charges are collected as housing is built. Municipalities foot the initial infrastructure cost. Historically though, municipalities never catch up with cost recovery.

“Fund & build critical infrastructure”

By that they mean municipalities (i.e. – you) should foot the bill to add new infrastructure over greenfields now without the limitation of sprawl-limiting intensification regulations. Doug Ford’s accidental admission that he was thinking of opening up the Greenbelt to development is an example.

“Cut bureaucratic red tape”

BILD wants a uniform “service standard” to speed up permits and inspections for “building and renovations”.

Adopt new housing solutions

Specifically, BILD refers to laneway housing and secondary suites as ways to “unlock the potential of current neighbourhoods”.

Is that it? I have to wonder if there aren’t more ways to provide more affordable housing? For instance, I have walked through a few local model homes and felt they were really inappropriate to the market. Like the oversized homes, for instance, with “luxury” features, and wasted unusable spaces that were priced around the million dollar mark. Are builders really building for the market? Or building to maximize profit?

Maybe we should (in no particular order):

  • Encourage more relocation to smaller communities
  • Require a better mix of smaller housing
  • Require a better mix of low-rise housing options (I still fondly remember my old walk-up apartment)
  • Research more live/work design possibilities (like the huge residence that was built over a small factory in Toronto)
  • Ban the demolition of existing usable (livable/convertible) buildings
  • Prevent housing speculation through new sales conditions
  • Examine new technologies for basic (water/sewer) infrastructure
  • Examine new technologies to lower construction costs
  • Remove the cost of land from housing developments (I know, think about it)
  • Just wait for us of the ‘boomer’ generation to exit stage left?

Feel free to share your ideas too.

Get Involved Innisfil

We have an online resource to share our “great” ideas with municipal leaders and planners but I don’t know how many residents in Innisfil are aware of it. I’m referring to Get Involved Innisfil.

Site visitors can browse and read about other people’s ideas and suggestions, contribute their own ideas on how to improve Innisfil, and vote for the ideas they like. Some young people shared their ideas to have more activities for them like trampoline, paint ball, and movies as well as some casual places to hang out. Others would like more trails and bikeways to connect neighbourhoods. And there are suggestions for more festivals and musical events, especially in summer.

This is a novel resource to learn about and share ideas. It’s important because it could help build support, steer funding and gather volunteers to specific projects. What’s your great idea? What suggestions would you vote for? What ideas would you be willing to volunteer a few hours for? I have no idea how many Innisfil residents have already registered on this site. If you haven’t yet, please do – and share your ideas with all of us.

Musicians Invited – Open Audition!

The Ontario Musicians Cooperative Inc. (OMCI) has secured funding to hire emerging musicians in Simcoe County to perform at various public events this summer.

These “Emerging Artists” will be adding a new element to a variety of events and building up their resume in the process. The initiative is Simcoe County wide, and  now it’s our turn in Innisfil!

Auditions will hosted at the Lakeshore Branch Innisfil Public Library on Saturday, June 16th from 1:00 to 4:30pm.  1-2pm is a drop in slot, while 2-4 is saved for scheduled auditions. To schedule an audition, one must apply through www.indeed.ca.

Please see the poster on the “Experience Innisfil” page of this blog and feel free to circulate and spread the word.

Regrets? Eventually

I purposely sat out the provincial election period. Regular readers would have a sense of where I stand. It was interesting to watch it all unfold but I think the “record” voter turnout of 58% is still a disgrace.

We got a party and new government that deliberately failed to present a full and honest accounting of its platform and deliberately avoided press and public scrutiny. With people voting ‘against’ instead of ‘for’, they didn’t have to. Still weeks away from being sworn in, I wonder now how long it will be before regret sets in over this government. These are some of the things that might concern us sooner or later:  Continue reading