The Waterview Apartments development in the Minnow Lake neighbourhood is expected to grow by an additional 144 residential units between two six-storey buildings.
The development cleared the city’s planning committee on Wednesday, whose unanimous support points to the likelihood city council as a whole will ratify the decision at a later meeting.
“Our ward is growing, and this is perfect timing for them to come forward and do this project,” Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc told Sudbury.com after the meeting.
“All of Sudbury needs it,” the area’s city council representative added. “It’s in the right location, it’s close to all of the amenities, we have transit right on the main route. … When you’re up in those buildings in the upper floors you’ve got a beautiful view of the city.”
City planner Wendy Kaufman also praised the project, noting that it's in close proximity to a main GOVA Transit line and there are no concerns about the project’s compatibility with the surrounding neighbourhood.
“The application meets both provincial and Official Plan policies related to the intensification of our existing built-up areas and the efficient use of lands and infrastructure while minimizing negative impacts on air quality and climate change in alignment with the city’s Community Energy and Emissions Plan.”
Both of the two buildings will include 13 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units and 24 three-bedroom units, and will join the seven existing buildings in a cluster around 1290 Bancroft Drive on top of a hill overlooking Minnow Lake. The two new buildings will be at the northeast side of the property, where heavy machinery has already started work on ground preparation.
Wednesday’s discussion included an amendment by Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland for the overall development to include a maximum of 740 parking spaces, which the developer indicated was their intention anyway. Adding a maximum is an extra step city council can make to protect the Ramsey Lake watershed, the councillor explained.
The minimum number of parking spaces the development is required to have is 693.
A left-turn lane from Bancroft Drive into the property is included as part of the expanded development plan.
Representing the applicant, Dave Dorland of DS Dorland Ltd. said that the two new buildings will complete a project that was started in the ’80s and will use the remaining land owned by the applicant.
Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan, who also chaired Wednesday’s meeting, said he’s particularly enthused about the project’s two- and three-bedroom units, which he said will be ideal for seniors.
“Would make this a place where they can age in place and even have someone come in and assist them and provide support services for them,” he said, adding that they’re flexible enough to accommodate seniors for longer periods of time so they aren’t forced to relocate.
The overall vacancy rate in the Greater Sudbury Census Metropolitan Area was 1.8 per cent in October 2021, which is the lowest vacancy rate the area has recorded in 10 years. The Canadian vacancy rate is 3.1 per cent within the purpose-built rental market and 1.8 per cent in the condominium apartment market.
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.