Go the extra step, Chorley urges developers

By Cecilia Nasmith

The two 10-plexes Stalwood Homes will build on Lonsberry Drive have no accessible units, but director of planning and development Glenn McGlashon said their price has made them accessible in another way.

Priced in the low $200,000s, the entire complex is pre-sold, McGlashon said.

“At our current market, that is defined as affordable for first-time home buyers, and low- and moderate-income households. That is certainly a plus – many people have chosen these units as their first-time home acquisitions.”

They will be based on the pair of 10-plexes immediately to their west, at the of Lonsberry and Brook Road. They are attractive two-and-a-half-storey buildings with a good street presence, McGlashon said. There is a parking lot in back that can accommodate 30 vehicles (with two parking spaces that are barrier-free).

As far as accessibility, he said, the Ontario building code states that small residential buildings like these – lower than three storeys and less than 600 sq.m. in area – are exempt from requirements for accessible units.

“Staff always encourage developers that do not necessarily require accessible units to provide them wherever possible, and always require barrier-free external facilities like parking and curbing and sidewalks

“I am quite disappointed the site plans lack accessible units,” Councillor Emily Chorley said.

“I feel that housing that is affordable and accessible is in dire need in our community, and we have a responsibility to raise the bar on what we are looking for in new housing stock in our community.”

The Stalwood Homes representative did not comment on that, but did point out the example of their build at 680 Ontario St. Of these 22 rental units, he said, 10 are fully accessible and four are handicapped-designed.

Though she cast the only vote against the development, Chorley said she would verbally suggest to the developer to change plans to incorporate some accessible units.