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A rendering of the proposed development at the corner of Pine Glen Road and Whitepine Road in Riverview. Image: Submitted

375-unit development in Riverview draws concerns

By Brad Perry Apr 10, 2024 | 1:00 PM

Some residents who live near a proposed 375-unit development in Riverview are raising concerns.

A number of them brought their concerns directly to council during a public hearing on Tuesday night.

Icon Developments Inc. wants to build three, six-storey buildings on the former public works site at the corner of Pine Glen Road and Whitepine Road.

They have applied for a rezoning and municipal plan amendment in order to allow for the project to go ahead.

Council received 12 letters from nearby residents, all of them either opposed to or concerned about the planned development.

Fern Mitchell, one of a number of residents to speak during Tuesday’s hearing, said her biggest concern relates to traffic.

“The traffic on the corner of Pine Glen Road and Whitepine Road will be excessive,” Mitchell told council members.

“It’s already very congested there and I think we’re asking for trouble by putting three big units on that property.”

Kirk Brewer, a planer with Plan360, noted in his presentation that Whitepine Road is already experiencing congestion at Findlay Boulevard, but said it is unrelated to the current development.

Brewer said that will need to be a consideration long-term as to how that intersection is dealt with.

An overview of the proposed development at the corner of Pine Glen Road and Whitepine Road in Riverview. Image: Submitted

Other concerns raised included an intrusion of privacy and the growing number of multi-unit buildings, among other things.

In addition, a number of residents are worried about what will happen to the existing berm and tree buffer.

Brewer said the berm will remain in place, along with the mature tree buffer to the northwest of the site.

Coun. Cecile Cassista said she supports this project because it will help fill a critical housing need in the town.

“Our vacancy rate is 0.7 per cent. We’ve got employers, businesses in this town that can’t hire people because there’s nowheres for them to live in this town,” said Cassista.

“We have young families that can’t afford to buy houses because it’s too expensive for them. We need to look at ways to have affordable housing, and here’s an opportunity for the town to play a significant role.”

Deputy Mayor Sarah Murphy said she sympathizes with residents who feel their quality of life could be adversely affected.

“But with this particular one, where the buildings are situated as far as possible from the single-family homes, I think that’s ideal,” said Murphy.

Council passed the first reading of the zoning bylaw and municipal plan amendments. They still require second and third reading, which is expected to happen in May.