If we were all to live by the comments made by some of the residents of Lighthouse Point at Monday evenings council meeting, Collingwood’s surrounding area would still be predominantly undeveloped farmland and in actual fact Cranberry, Lighthouse Point, Georgian Meadows et al would never have been built. One of the major complaints from the residents was that the population density in the new development will be 96 people per hectare. The surrounding Lighthouse Point is only 24 people per hectare. The developer is looking to change the zoning of the property from resort commercial (Hotel/Motel) to high-density residential.
I wonder what the density was when Lighthouse Point was originally developed? At a guess I would say maybe 2 – 4 people per hectare. Being as that area was predominantly single family houses on large acreage lots. I have always disliked this type of nimbyism. People move into an area then want to slam the door shut behind them. Many of the people at the meeting Monday said they knew that the property was going to be developed and are not opposed to its development per se. But not the development that was being proposed. Realistically though with the complaints I heard: From potential trespassing on their property to get to the water by future neighbors, to where and how the storm water and snow from the property were going to be handled, to noise from partyers. I can’t see any development of this vacant land meeting the approval of the local residents. The residents should be careful what they wish for, over the years I heard rumours going around that that property was slated for a Best Western type hotel/motel development which it is legally zoned for. Then let’s see how much “sleep” the local residents get.
There is a shortage of the type of small one and two bedroom condominium type accommodation in Collingwood as presented. A condo project by Brandy Lane just down the road was finished last year and is almost sold out. I was impressed by Kristine Loft’s (planner for Harhay Developments) presentation at the public meeting portion of Mondays council meeting, and that is unusual for me (I usually sleep through them). Higher density is something all of us are going to have to get used to. I actually prefer higher density rather than urban sprawl and constantly bulldozing and building on farmland. I am still pissed off that the Admiral Collingwood Place hasn’t materialized and although I have railed about Assaff over the past couple of years, I was and still am supportive of the 6 story building that was originally proposed. I just didn’t like the process (or lack thereof) that led to it.
This was the first public meeting the new council has been exposed to. I hope that they take the resident’s moaning and concerns, with a large grain of salt. I had a good chuckle when one lady said that she voted for everyone on council and she “hopes that they will all return that trust she put in them”. If she did in fact vote for Angry Man and Deb Doherty on the same ballot, she was probably the only person in town that did. As I said above I really liked this proposal, especially with the commercial component. With a few tweaks it is exactly the type of development that area and this town needs.