This map of the Southwest Secondary Gateway Plan is based on information provided by the city in September 2013. Some details of the plan may have changed in the intervening six months. (FILE PHOTO)
Several objections to the city’s Southwest Brandon Secondary Plan have prevented it from moving forward, at least for the time being.
A few longtime residents living on the outskirts of the city expressed their concerns about what type of buildings may eventually pop up beside them.
"We don’t want an apartment building built beside us," said Lloyd Curtis, who has lived in the same house on 34th Street for the past 35 years. "Anything that’s ugly or ... looking into our yard and all that."
Currently Curtis’ neighbours live about five acres to the north, and two acres to the south.
"Our main concern … was buildings coming up around us," he said.
The Southwest Secondary Plan is the city’s vision for nearly 400 acres on the southwest edge of Brandon. Based on a moderate projection, the area is expected to eventually house about 6,000 residents upon full build-out.
The plan calls for a mix of low to moderate density housing, which would include single-family dwellings, townhouses and low-rise apartment buildings.
The land is located between Maryland Avenue and Patricia Avenue, spanning from 26th to 34th streets, and further west to the city boundary.
The privately owned land was brought into the City of Brandon municipality in 2012 as part of an annexation request from developers.
Council gave the bylaw second reading on Monday night, however third reading is being held in abeyance due to objections registered at last month’s public hearing.
Those who filed the original complaints have until April 2 to file a second objection. If a second objection is received by the city, then council must hold a second public hearing. Otherwise, the city will go ahead with third reading at an upcoming council meeting.
"The objectors, they were citing concerns pertaining largely to the overall density proposed for the plan area, the types of development that could occur adjacent to their properties, the impact of new development on current infrastructure, and the location and the naming of future collector streets," said community planner Andrew Mok.
Developer John Burgess stated at the public hearing that his main concerns were density requirements and sewer capacity, and that the cost of servicing will not make affordable housing possible.
Following the objections, Mok said the city amended the plan to address some of the concerns regarding density.
"The significant change here is that the previous version of the plan prescribed density ranges based on zones under our zoning bylaw," he said. "However with the secondary plan, it made more sense to not regulate specifically by zone, but just simply by … land use designations."
Mok said the density requirements are now less prescriptive and more flexible.
The proposal calls for the area to be predominantly residential, however there are some amenities proposed such as green spaces, trails and neighbourhood retail and commercial uses.
Also, the Brandon School Division has expressed interest in locating a future school in this area.
"The plan is necessary to better manage growth in the city," Mok said. "The plan would allow both developers and the city to better plan these developments accordingly."
As for infrastructure, the plan says all developments in the area should ensure the availability of a full range of services including potable water supply and distribution, sanitary sewers, sanitary pumping facilities, storm water management facilities and storm drainage facilities.
The plan also calls for a multi-modal transportation system that includes walking, cycling, transit and driving that are seamlessly connected, safe and convenient.
If the secondary plan is approved, it will still be quite some time before any shovels are in the ground.
"It would be up to the developers to rezone and subdivide those lands to develop them," Mok said.
There are also some policies in the plan that require the developer to provide the city a certain amount of information when they apply for rezoning and subdivision "to ensure that their development proposals are in compliance with the secondary plan."
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 20, 2014