Great Near Campus Neighbourhoods OMB Hearing

The city was successful at the Ontario Municipal Board. The Great Near Campus Neighbourhood policies are now in force and effect. This means that new construction in the core of the area including stacked townhouses, semis, duplexes and four-plexes in our area may only have a maximum of three bedrooms per unit (i.e., a duplex could have 3 bedrooms in each unit for a total of 6). More intense uses will be directed to transportation nodes and corridors. Other parts of the policy dictate how much parking and pavement can be on the site as well as how large the bedrooms are in relation to the floor space. Overall, this is seen as a positive for our area.

You can get the background and reports on the policies at http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Planning/studentstrategy.htm

Information from AGM

Thanks to all who came out for the ratepayers’ Annual General Meeting on Wednesday night. Great turnout – approximately 175 people.

Here are a number of items from the meeting:

  • Heather Chapman from the City of London’s Municipal Law Enforcement Services gave a presentation.
  • A general concern of the neighborhood is the increasing number of houses rented to students, and the potential impact on the neighborhood. Here is a map of houses in Orchard Park/Sherwood Forest currently rented to students. If you have updates or additions for the map, contact Sandy Levin.
  • Updates on the widening of Sarnia Road, Medway Valley, and a rezoning request for a property on Sarnia Rd.
  • Update from the Steering Committee regarding the Sherwood Forest School Site.

Following the update on the school site, a survey was distributed to get a sense of the community’s preferences regarding future directions. If you were not able to attend the meeting and wish to submit a survey, please complete the form and send to Sandy Levin, 59 Longbow Rd (or email to Sandy at s.levin@sympatico.ca ).

April updates

MEDWAY VALLEY HERITAGE FOREST

There will be a public information session in mid June on the work to date on the Conservation Master Plan update for the Valley.   This session will invite residents on both sides of the Valley.  It will also lead to trail planning for the Valley as well as whether or not a Creek crossing and more pavement will be put into this Environmentally Significant Area.  There will be pressure from the neighbourhood association on the east side of the Valley as it supported the paving of the Valley south of Sunningdale Road as well.  

260 SARNIA ROAD

The owner of this property, a single family house currently used as a duplex, asked the City to re-zone the site to permit a 4-plex.   The city rejected the re-zoning, and the owner appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) which took place this past week.  Sandy Levin spoke at the hearing on behalf of the Ratepayers, regarding spot re-zoning and precedence (which were raised in the hearing as well).  The homeowner immediately to the south also spoke.  The decision will be available in about 4-6 weeks (it is a written decision with reasons).

What was very interesting to learn was that zoning to permit a 4-plex is permissible within the Low Density Residential (LDR) designation in the city’s Official Plan (our area is designated LDR).  Although the City’s Great Near Campus Neighbourhoods (GNCN) policy directs such development to arterial roads, it is conceivable that a new owner of the Sherwood Forest site could apply for up to 4-plex zoning.  Other permitted uses in the LDR include duplexes as well as stacked townhouses.  The number of bedrooms in each unit would be limited to 3 under GNCN, but GNCN has been appealed to the OMB as well.  (This hearing starts on June 10th at 11:30 am at City Hall).  The limit on the number of bedrooms is one of the aspects of the GNCN that is being challenged.

 SARNIA ROAD WIDENING

 Sarnia Road west of Wonderland will be widened to 4 lanes this year.  Widening the section of road east of Wonderland to Sleightholme is still in the city’s capital plan, but not imminent (2022).   The city’s capital plan is reviewed annually.  A report from city staff to city council’s Civic Works Committee regarding the project is available.  The Environmental Assessment which is required for any work to be completed shows the alignment of the widened roadway.  This document will also will be available for viewing at the Sherwood Forest branch of the library.  A request for a Part 2 order asking the Province to consider an individual environmental assessment can be made within 30 days of the filling.

RETHINK LONDON

This City process for developing its new land use plan continues.  There will be discussion papers posted this week for review and comment.  You are encouraged to take part as this exercise will lead to how the city grows and how existing neighbourhoods like ours are impacted.  Go to www.rethinklondon.ca for more information.

Student housing in Orchard Park/Sherwood Forest

The ratepayers are continuing to compile a list of addresses where the homes are rented out and not occupied by the owners.   The list goes to the rental licensing area of city hall which will check to see if there is a license for this use.  While it is currently a legal use, there are limits. 

If you would like to have a location reviewed, you can either the city’s call Residential Rental Units Licensing enquiries at 519-930-3515, or you can contact Sandy Levin with the address and he will  submit the information.  At least 5% of the homes in the area are being used as rentals.