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Nickerson Woods details shared

by Cecilia Naismith

A 23-residence development that follows the contours of Nickerson Road to the south is in the planning stages, Cobourg council heard at Monday's committee-of-the-whole session.

Ruth Ferguson Aulthouse, president of RFA Planning Consultant Inc., said the 23 single-storey freehold homes would have condominium elements, such as its own storm-water facilities and the laneway that will echo the shape of Nickerson Drive at the point where the northmost extension of D'Arcy Street ends north of Elgin Street.

The five-acre development is within the Elgin-Densmore Secondary Plan area, Aulthouse said, one of the last parcels within the Parkview Hills community. It abuts the Nickerson Woods conservation lands and Midtown Creek to the north, outside the 100-year flood plains. A split-rail fence will divide these homes from the parkland, with a bark-chip trail to replace an ad hoc trail that already exists. Of the 23, only seven homes back on to Nickerson Drive.

Land within this area will be deeded to the town, she added, for parkland and turn-around.

The 10-metre-wide internal condominium road that serves the development will not have on-street parking, but there will be 12 visitor parking spaces.

The homes will provide 40% lot coverage, Aulthouse said, and 50% of each lot will be landscaped. They will be green buildings, with such features as high-efficiency furnaces and double-pane insulated windows. The design will highlight front porches rather than garages.

Manager of planning services Rob Franklin characterized this as a conceptual plan, with more detailed planning to be done before a shovel goes into the ground.

With its location well north of town and its cul-de-sac on each end, Nickerson Drive has its own unique character and a closeness of community. A number of Nickerson residents were in attendance, and several spoke up with concerns for changes that may come. One concern that was repeated several times was how they could be sure stormwater-management measures would be effective in keeping excess flooding away from a commuity that already has its fair share of issues in this regard. And should there be problems, they wondered, whom would they contact for help?

Deputy Mayor John Henderson pointed out that these objections for the most part will be addressed farther along in the process, when specific site plans are being developed.

“Yes, there are certainly many technical elements,” director of planning Glenn McGlashon agreed.

Council supported the motion to endorse the comments of the planning department, acknowledge a motion of support from the Planning and Sustainability Advisory Committee, authorize preparations of the necessary amendments to the town's Official Plan and zoning bylaw, and approve the draft plans of subdivision and condominium for this property.