Council rejects 24-story tower project across from Fanshawe College

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The city council on Tuesday evening launched a proposal to build a 24-story tower in front of Fanshawe College, sending a strong signal to a developer, who asked for a second chance.

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Intensity, of course. But not that much.

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The city council on Tuesday evening launched a proposal to build a 24-story tower in front of Fanshawe College, sending a strong signal to a developer, who asked for a second chance.

Red Maple Properties, through a private planning consultant, has asked politicians for more time to negotiate with city hall staff, despite more than a year of discussions already.

“I don’t really buy their letter,” Ward 5 Coun. said Maureen Cassidy. “This is not new information.”

It was a decisive 13-2 vote to refuse the dezoning, only advisers Mo Salih and Paul Van Meerbergen opposed.

But this split eclipsed a much smaller vote a few minutes earlier, on a motion from the Ward 2 Coun. Shawn Lewis to return the proposal to staff, as requested by the developer.

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“They’ve heard loud and clear that we don’t really have any support from anyone on the existing app, so they’re ready to revise it and come back with something new,” Lewis said.

“(Let’s give them) another try here.”

District 3 Council. Salih supported the referral and development.

“There is a need for more housing in this neighborhood, especially for students,” he said.

“I hope to see more development in Ward 3.”

The planners suggested it would be a “cleaner process to start over with a new app.”

“While we would love to try to negotiate, to try to achieve something (a height) that we would be a lot more comfortable with, we’ve had a lot of talking for a while and it hasn’t. successful, ”Deputy City Manager George Kotsifas told politicians.

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The referral was lost in a close 7-8 vote. Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan and Councilors Mariam Hamou, Steve Hillier and Steve Lehman, joined Salih and Van Meerbergen in supporting a staff referral.

Everyone else opposed it.

The site is a collection of eight properties located at 1453-1459 Oxford St. E. and 648-656 Ayreswood Ave., where eight single-family homes are currently located.

Developer Paul Champagne asked for an 18-story tower to be built first, then came back with a revised 24-story plan, intended to be rental housing for students across from the growing college.

The London plan limits the height of these plots to 12 stories, or up to 15 stories with bonus zoning, when a developer cedes a community benefit such as affordable housing in exchange for permission to build higher.

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The proposal included 259 units, 20 of which were affordable. It’s right along a future rapid transit line, the East London Link, which is slated to be built between 2022 and 2024.

The sanitary sewer is already at 98% of its capacity and cannot handle a building so far away from the expected height and density, staff and politicians also noted.

Despite the refusal, Champagne can still build on the site with a new plan, Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner said.

The applicant does not stray from this property. It’s precious, ”he said.

“It needs to be developed, I agree with my colleagues, it just needs to be done well. “

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