As you may have noticed, the owner of the white house at 260 Sarnia Road (south side of Sarnia Road next to the new Western residence) had applied for a zoning change. The request was to knock down the house and garage and put up a 4-plex with five bedrooms each.
The City’s Planning staff recommended that the application be refused. However, the City’s Planning Committee rejected the staff recommendation and substituted a recommendation that staff come back with a zoning by law permitting 4 units with 3 bedrooms each with an increased number of parking spots. This despite the Council having recently approved the Great Near Campus Neighbourhoods initiative which would require a more comprehensive approach to planning for the area. What was disturbing about the discussion was that there was no challenge to the proponent when the owner’s agent said that this would not trigger further redevelopment in the area, nor did the Committee seem to realize that the proponent could ask later for an increase in units and bedrooms through an application for a variance.
The cause for concern is that this “spot re-zoning” could lead to similar applications along both sides of Sarnia Road heading west.
The full Council will deal with the Committee recommendation at its meeting of October 9th. If you wish to have your views known to the Council, you can write a letter and submit it to the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org by the morning of October 4th. If you wish to write members of Council individually, you can get their contact information at this web site: http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/City_Council/default.htm