Geranium Homes has a proposal before Town for Lakeshore Road
By Charlene Jones
Commercial development will be coming to Highway 48
In a perfect world, fields remain fields, stretches of road remain as you remember them and developers stay somewhere else. This is not that world and our community faces change. This is not a guess, or a maybe, but a certainty, although what kind of retail buildings might greet us in future along Highway 48 remains anyone’s guess. The Town, for example, faces increased pressure to create new, affordable housing, since so many people want what we enjoy: community based, quiet life surrounded by nature. To continue delivering top quality services to all, the Town must lean toward a greater tax base. At the same time, the Ontario Government pressures builders to squeeze more from less: more people on less land to create less urban sprawl.
Lakeshore Road Project
Geranium Homes, a leader since 1977 in high quality, uniquely designed homes has a proposal before Town outlining a plan to designate approximately 12 acres east of Highway 48 along Lakeshore Road as sites for 19 homes (1 existing home to be maintained and 18 new to be built) Yes, each home on approximately half an acre.
Consider some of the options. An application for north of Ballantrae is in process to construct 5 houses per acre, the equivalent of 50 homes on 10 acres, clearly in keeping with those pressures from the provincial government.
Another possibility sees the Town approving a 50 home subdivision of affordable homes, then creating a bus route to transport those folks. Imagine the increased population with those figures.
Or picture an institution with a three or four acre parking area. That would mean paving paradise, for sure! While these three options are within the realm of reality, the idea of 19 detached homes, beautifully built, costing more than a million dollars each leads the pack as the choice to back.
Yes, that’s right, over $1,000,000 to start is the selling price targeted for these new homes. One way to consider this new community is as a buffer zone between the lake and the coming commercialization on Highway 48.
MLRA Meets with Geranium Homes
As one of the most successful builders in Ontario, Geranium Homes raise unique, top quality homes, as green or energy efficient as possible. To back up this claim, Geranium invites everyone to drop by the model homes at Forest Trail Estates on the west side of 48 just south of Lakeshore Road.
The President of the Musselman’s Lake Residents Association, Rick Wigmore met on two occasions with two of Geranium’s top executives to discuss the impact of Geranium’s proposed site on our community. Mario Giampietri, the President of Geranium Homes attended the first meeting, and the second meeting was with Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice- President, Land Development for Geranium Homes.
Note that Geranium Homes holds the relationship with our community in such high regard that Mr. Giampietri himself attended the first meeting.
As follow-up to the discussion in which Wigmore outlined four major concerns of the residents, Shindruk returned the following:
QUESTION POSED BY RESIDENTS
The proposed lots range in size from 0.5 acre to 1.05 acres, with the majority in the range of 0.5 to 0.6 acres.
The site is designated “Future Residential Area II” in the Ballantrae- Musselman Lake Secondary Plan. This designation permits a minimum lot size of 0.5 acres for lots with communal septic systems.Historically, the size of estate lots was determined by the land area needed to accommodate a private septic system and provide sufficient attenuation area on site (i.e., on the individual lot). The tertiary (higher level) treatment provided by the Waterloo Biofilter System does not require as much land area for attenuation.
Provincial policy mandates more efficient use of land and the use of advanced treatment technology wherever possible, to benefit the environment and create more sustainable communities. The proposed development does this.
2. Waterloo Biofilter System. Why chosen? How safe? Proof of regular maintenance.
The Waterloo Biofilter System is approved for use in Ontario by the Ontario Building Code.
The Waterloo Biofilter System treats sewage to a higher quality than conventional septic systems, resulting in cleaner effluent being discharged from the system to the tile beds.
Unlike conventional septic systems, the Waterloo Biofilter treats the wastewater before it is released into the soil, typically resulting in a 50% to 65% reduction in nitrate levels.
In addition to the benefits of reduced nitrates discharging into the environment, another important benefit of the Waterloo Biofilter System is the fact that air is able to circulate passively through the unit to maintain aerobic conditions, thereby eliminating the need for mechanical aeration (commonly used in other systems).
As noted, the OBC recognizes the Waterloo Biofilter System as a system approved for use in Ontario.
The Ontario Building Code requires property owners with Waterloo Biofilter systems (and similar systems) to enter into a maintenance contract with an authorized service provider.
3. Water flow across property. What assurances will we have that there will be no backup into the basements on Aurora Road
Geranium Homes is required to demonstrate that pre-development surface water flow will be unchanged in a post-development condition, to ensure there will be no negative impacts on the surrounding properties.
The hydrogeological assessment undertaken by our consulting team has been accepted and signed off on by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, who ultimately must be satisfied that the development can be implemented without impacting neighbouring properties.
The water budget analysis compares the predevelopment and post- development movement of water through the hydrologic cycle. On a site- specific basis, such parameters as runoff, infiltration and evapotranspiration are considered to assess the impacts of the development on the hydrologic characteristics of the site.
4. Traffic Flow – concern that the corner of Lakeshore and Highway 48 already back up in rush hour.
The Transportation Assessment by BA Group (Consulting transportation engineers) confirms that both Lakeshore Road and Highway 48 will function at acceptable levels. The traffic impacts on Highway 48 are even less than on Lakeshore Road. Highway 48 has more than ample capacity to handle the traffic from the 18 new lots.
The BA Group also concluded that Lakeshore Road and its intersection with Treeview Avenue can fully accommodate the traffic that will be generated with little to no impact.
It is worth noting Geranium hired BA Group Consulting to consider the influx of traffic as a result of the new development, a move that indicates true desire to fulfill all laws and to minimize impact on our community.
Geranium Homes sponsors local events
In addition to taking the MLRA questions seriously, Geranium has put dollars into community charities with donations to the Stouffville Winter Carnival, the Stouffville Fall Fair, the Ballantrae Wine and Cheese Festival. All functions are fund raising events for the various charities in this community.
Positive effect on our community
Geranium’s insistence on building only the best high quality homes will aid in increasing the value of our homes. Adding nineteen high value homes will have a positive effect on the community as a whole. These homes will not only act as a buffer between our community and the commercialization of Highway 48 but they will also help to improve our dynamic community’s image as has happened with other high value projects.
If you have an opinion for or against, or have any questions at all simply write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make your concerns known.
We will make every effort to answer your questions in a timely manner.