Stroud Centreville Gets Another Look

After two public meetings, a proposed development for the main street of Stroud gets another look on Wednesday, June 14 at Town Hall. In this revised plan:

  • the number of townhouses is reduced from 107 to 94 on a slightly smaller space
  • 12 single detached homes are proposed for the western boundary
  • the size of the commercial blocks is reduced slightly
  • the site includes a gas bar and convenience store

Centreville3

A proposal to include several floors of apartments over the commercial units was rejected by local residents at previous public meetings. The single detached homes (instead of townhouses) are intended to buffer the transition from existing residential homes to the new development.

I think this revised plan continues to miss the mark for good planning. Completely removing apartments above the commercial space is a mistake. It would have been wiser to include this mixed-use option to offer more housing options for all age groups. Younger and older Innisfil residents don’t necessarily want, or can afford, a single family home. A retired individual that I know who is planning to move from their home is forced to look in Barrie, Alliston and Midland because there are no suitable apartment options in Innisfil. The objections from Stroud residents to more housing options is unreasonable and puzzling. Including these residents in the development would also make Stroud livelier and more economically viable.

The site plan itself is sadly disappointing in offering yet another parking-lot laden strip mall. I hardly think that a tired and outdated approach to make Stroud look like 1960s Mississauga or contemporary Brampton should get any serious consideration at all. It flies in the face of all the urban planning discussions that have taken place in Innisfil in the last 10 years.

The Implementation Plan for Inspiring Innisfil 2020 (Feb. 2011) stated the following objectives:  Continue reading

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

The Town of Innisfil is spending more than $100,000 on an appalling act of civic vandalism by tearing out a series of landscaped medians east of St. John’s Road. It’s clear that whatever faint vision existed for this town is dead under the current municipal regime.

The Council says it is correcting ‘mistakes’. The Innisfil Journal quoted one resident commenting on Facebook that “Never in my life have I seen a main road end up being a single lane” [actually one each way plus a centre lane]. The poor lady should get out more. Apparently she’s never seen Cookstown, Alliston, Stayner and a host of other Ontario main streets. It’s just further proof that this is being driven (literally) by ignorance, not facts.

We should be concerned with this Council’s contempt for the studies, work and planning objectives of the previous Council. Equally disturbing, we are back to the old practice (during the Jackson tenure) of making significant decisions with only cursory public notice and discussion.

I’m conscious of the fact that some of these councillors are the same ones who voted to sell an ‘environmentally protected’ town property at Innisfil Beach Park (now appropriately named Park Rd.) to a developer as ‘surplus’ in 2012. Although the price was never disclosed, a press report suggested the Town received $61,000 for land that currently holds a row of new houses. Like I said, lack of vision considering the usage pressures the park is experiencing just 3 years later.

The only mistake made was at the ballot box. This street ‘uglification’ project marks a new low. For the first time, I feel ashamed of Innisfil.

All Hail The Car!

Town Council received a report recommending that a significant portion of the Alcona streetscape (four medians) be demolished at a cost of $160,000 only 5 years after being installed (Precinct 2, 2010). This comes after one public meeting was held in the dead of winter to solicit public comment.

The principal issue is that some medians are not well aligned with the driveways at Home Hardware. The owner complained about two years ago that it presented a hazard. Time has proven him wrong though. The current configuration has not impeded anyone from patronizing his store. The parking lot is frequently full. I have witnessed as many as five vehicles in a row turning into the parking lot without incident. If there is a problem, it seems to be with some Innisfil drivers who apparently don’t know how to apply brakes, don’t know how to negotiate a centre lane, or don’t know how to exercise caution when turning.

So why is there such a rush to impose so severe (and costly) a “remedy” for a problem that doesn’t really exist? Continue reading

Innisfil Beach Rd. Streetscape Open House, Feb 2

IBR01

The Innisfil Beach Road streetscape renovation has been in place for more than a year. Residents are invited to an Open House to share their views and comments on the project Drop by from 5 to 8 pm. this Monday, February 2 at ideaLAB, (873 Innisfil Beach Rd.)

IBR02

Innisfil Beach Rd. Open House

Alcona Streetscape Construction Ends (Soon)

The Town held a Ceremonial Walk to celebrate the (near) conclusion of streetscape construction in Alcona after 3 years of seasonal work. I wasn’t able to take part but enlisted some help to mark the occasion with some pictures …  Continue reading

Inspiring Innisfil – the Path Divided

Here we go again. The owner of Home Hardware in Alcona is the latest to complain about the streetscape centre median on Innisfil Beach Road as being “unsafe”. Two years after completion, the objection rings hollow. He says there have been accidents. I shop there, on foot and by car, and I’m not aware of any. I’d have to see the statistics and accident reports. What charges were laid? Speeding? Following too close? Failing to yield? Making an improper turn?

But what we are now learning from newspaper reports is that Continue reading