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Tower triggers petition

Victoria Hill proposal goes to public hearing on Monday

One Ginger Drive resident is hoping her neighbours will turn out in force Monday night to oppose a development slated for the Victoria Hill (Woodlands) land.

Developer Onni is looking to build 248 one-, two-and threebedroom units in a tower and townhouses at 271 Francis Way.

The meeting, which runs at 6 p.m. at city hall is a chance for the residents to be heard about a development variance permit to change the side yard setback the project requires to begin construction.

Desirée Savoy said the proposed tower would sit at the ravine that she has a view of from her living room.

"It directly affects me as well as many of the residents around here and a lot of us are opposed to it," Savoy said.

But it's not just the view she is concerned about.

"It's not only unsightly, but I'm also concerned about where the coyotes may relocate to and all the excess traffic and everything that will be brought into this with all the people living here. It's also the dust from construction. I have two small children living here," she said. "There's lots of issues with it."

About 100 local residents have signed a petition asking council to reject any move to develop the land.

"I'm just hoping council recognizes that people are opposed to any development there at all, let alone this specific development," she said.

The property, however, has been zoned for that type of development for about 10 years, said Beau Jarvis, vice-president of development for Onni, and the variance permit is all that remains for the project to move forward.

"It's already been titled for development," he said. "We're just moving forward as per the plan that was presented to us 10 years ago."

Jarvis said it may be a difference of opinion, but he doesn't see the sightlines changing drastically as the construction moves on. He said that Onni has also sought to go over and above the design guidelines already mandated for the property.

As for traffic, Jarvis said the early-2000s rezoning of the property would not have gone ahead without a traffic study showing the area could absorb more cars.

"The roads and everything are predicated on that traffic study," he said.

When it comes to wildlife, Jarvis said the surrounding land is already developed with single-family homes and not likely dense with animal life.

"I don't think Victoria Hill is a wildlife sanctuary," he said.