Residents cite privacy, habitat issues with proposed Wasaga development

Privacy and a loss of habitat are the chief concerns of neighbours of a proposed residential development in Wasaga Beach’s east end.

Sunnyvale Estates is proposing to build more than 60 single detached homes on 5.5 hectares of land off Golf Course Road.

Sunnyvale has made several requests for amendments to the town’s zoning bylaw, including a reduction in side and rear yard setbacks, increases in maximum lot coverage, and an increase in maximum building height from 10 metres to 11.5 metres.

A draft plan of subdivision application is still in process, and the developer is working on a number of reports and studies that it needs to provide to the town’s planning department.

Neighbours, however, raised a number of concerns, not the least of which was a loss of privacy through the cutting of trees.

“It’s unfortunate (trees on this) this property will be destroyed,” Wendy Walker told the committee. “Having bigger houses on small lots is not conducive for any of us.”

She asked that some trees that would border the new development and existing residences remain as a buffer, or, at least, that new trees be planted — along with a fence — to obstruct the view.

Andre Aberdeen expressed a concern for the existing wildlife that currently inhabits the property.

“I understand that the town is growing and there’s always going to be a need for growth,” said Andre Aberdeen. “(But) what exactly is going to be done in order to mitigate the impacts on wildlife?”

Jamie-Lynn Babin said she expects to see six or seven homes backing onto the side yard of her Golf Course Road residence.

“We’re all for change and growth, (but) ideally we’d like to see a green space in between, some trees kept,” she said. “The privacy we once had, we won’t have anymore.”

She added the space is heavily used by the community for cycling and walking.

Michelle Bravakis raised a concern about the reduced setbacks, pointing to a recent fire in the west end that consumed two homes, after the blaze leapt from one home to another.

A recommendation will come to committee at a later date. The developer’s representative, Jack Krubnik, expected there would be no development on the site until at least the end of 2022.