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Be careful with ‘heritage gem’ Bond Head in 341-home development, resident tells council

Bradford West Gwillimbury council heard amended draft proposal for development north of County Road 88 that straddles County Road 27
2019-01-21-bond head development
BWG council approved an amended draft proposal Jan. 22 for a 54-hectare housing development on the north side of County Road 88 that straddles County Road 27. Submitted photo/Town of BWG

One Bond Head resident is asking Bradford West Gwillimbury council to tread lightly with a development of 341 homes in the historic hamlet.

BWG council heard an amended draft proposal Tuesday for a 54-hectare housing development on the north side of County Road 88 that straddles County Road 27.

“Look carefully with this hamlet. We are a heritage gem within the community of Bradford West Gwillimbury,” Lynda Usher told council during a meeting.

BWG council had already approved a draft plan for 334 single detached units back in 2012. The amendment this week was to add seven more because the developer had since purchased 3017 County Road 27 and wanted to include it into the overall design.

Usher said she has concerns about the overall project, including flooding, increased traffic — “It will be a nightmare,” she said — and whether the developer plans to include heritage elements into its design.

“This hamlet is one of the oldest hamlets in Simcoe County” at 182 years old this year, she said.

It has more than 40 buildings older than 100 years old, several others older than 150 years old, and two provincially designated heritage properties, Usher said.

“Please consider carefully (the development),” she said.

The recent amendment in the development also includes re-lotting and zoning adjustments to make room for the seven new lots, and other technical changes such as realigning Brazel Way to increase the depth of several lots, and shifting Matys Crescent, Drumlins Crescent and Brazel Way to the south to accommodate Brazel’s realignment, according to a staff report.

At a council meeting Tuesday, Coun. Peter Dykie Jr. asked if the developer plans to incorporate historic elements into the design.

“Everything is so cookie cutter. I’d like to see something historic, something nice in this hamlet,” he said.

The developer clarified in the meeting it has been following “architectural guidelines” since the start of its planning for the development.

“Certainly this council recognizes we have a great heritage district,” said Deputy Mayor James Leduc. “It’s a fairly simply application. It’s seven lots — I see it as a small infill.”