Thorold torn over new townhouses

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

Photo Credit: Mackenzie Gerry

At a recent council meeting in the city of Thorold, the public voiced concern regarding future subdivision development in the city.
A proposed revision to the development plan of Confederation Heights’ phase eight was hotly contested, as many say that the high number of townhouses will bring more landlords looking to rent to Brock University students, which has been cited as a nuisance in the neighbourhood in the past.
The units would be located around Tuliptree Road, Winterberry Boulevard and Juneberry Road. Winterberry Boulevard has already made a name for itself in the last few years as an area known for hosting parties throughout the school year, due to the high number of student renters living on the street.
Thorold City Councillor John Kenny voiced concerns about high-volume houses possibly stemming from this proposal.
“We are looking for families, family units and if someone builds a family unit with three bedrooms and three bathrooms and they put some students in there, then so be it,” said Kenny. “I am against the nine bedroom and nine bathroom units.”
Several residents spoke at the meeting; they voiced their distaste for the revised plan and listed the litany of issues the students cause as a result of living in the neighbourhood.
Brock President Gervan Fearon was in attendance to make a presentation in front of council and provide an update on the university’s new strategic direction. Following his presentation, he also outlined the Brock’s current development plans to increase on-campus housing options, including increasing the capacity of the DeCew residence and the start of construction of a new residence building in 2020.
Kenny recognized the importance of this commitment from Brock, though he went on to say that, “I would like to see [Brock University] foresee in advance their increase in students and have some kind of formula developed so they can look for places to build to accommodate their rising student population.”
All stakeholders will need to come together to make this situation tenable — including students, themselves.
“[Thorold City Council] tries to work together with the students, with Brock, Niagara College, the city and with citizens; as a group we have to try and control everything,” said Kenny. “I want to make sure that the students know that the citizens of Thorold and our council all consider them citizens, and part of the community, and so we just want them to act like it — to act as if their parents were living next door.”

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