Deputations to King Council 2023-02-27 – Item 7.4

Mar 5, 2023
At the Committee of the Whole on Feb 27, 2023, Deputations were made to King Township Council both by CCKT and some CCKT members. C.O.W. Item 7.4. Report Number GMS-PL-2023-13 : 12805 & 12665 Jane Street; and 2955 King Road
This written submission comes on behalf of CCKT.

To:  Mayor Pellegrini and Members of King Township Council,

Re:    C.O.W. Item 7.4.  Report Number GMS-PL-2023-13 12805 & 12665 Jane Street; and 2955 King Road

Concerned Citizens of King Township (CCKT) has actively participated and submitted comments previously regarding the proposed Janeking Holdings and Jane King Holdings South residential subdivision, and two earlier proposals for the “Prestige Employment” lands.  Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the present applications today.

Draft Plan of Subdivision 19T-20K01 (Residential)

Generally CCKT is supportive of the mix of forms of housing being proposed particularly the inclusion of “lifestyle” units geared towards seniors.  However, we believe it would be beneficial to King Township to further expand the mix of housing and replace a majority of the 155 single-detached with additional small scale residential units that would support goals for including housing that is more attainable for a greater number of people and would meet a variety of needs.  Semi-detached, duplexes, triplexes, and low-rise townhouses and low-rise multi-unit buildings could all be included.

We note from the staff report that an overall density of up to 12 units per hectare may be considered based on specific criteria including a “mix of housing”.  The current proposal achieves a density of 8 units per hectare.  In our view, it would be beneficial to the community to raise the density to 10 units per hectare and perhaps to 12 units per hectare.  Additional mixed residential units to accommodate future growth in King City through modest intensification would result.  King City currently has abundant single-detached housing stock found in existing sub-divisions with very limited “Missing Middle” options.  We encourage the applicant to review the housing mix and to replace a majority of the single-detached units with additional forms of housing, thus increasing the overall density for this subdivision.

King Jane Industrial Holdings Inc. Lands – Employment

CCKT recognizes from the staff report that the layout of roadways and blocks is before Council for approval this evening.  We also note from the staff report that: “A separate  Site  Plan  Application  for  this  parcel  has  been submitted  and  proposes  approximately  1.9  million  square  feet  of  industrial  space  across  three  large buildings which comprise the majority of the subject lands.  The Site Plan Application remains under review.”

The proposed 1.9 million square feet across three large buildings certainly caught our attention and raised significant concern.  Through some research and calculations we gained a better picture of how large the proposed buildings would be by comparing this proposal with sports fields and an expansive warehouse and distribution centre.  Extremely large, immense buildings would be an apt and accurate description for the three proposed buildings assuming they are all of similar size (approximately 635,000 square feet each). 
(a)  1.  1.9 million square feet is equivalent in area to 33 regulation size football fields including the end zones.
(b)  2.  A more helpful comparison would be with the nearby Walmart Distribution Centre in Vaughan near Jane Street and Kirby Road.  From research we have learned that the Walmart Distribution Centre is 550,000 square feet in area.  The three proposed buildings on the Jane King Industrial Lands would be equivalent to more than three Walmart Distribution Centres all on less than 50 hectares of land.

While we presently do not know what the uses or users are for the three buildings, it is very clear that they are extremely large buildings, especially relative to anything in the King City community.  Given that the Jane King employment parcel of land is a very significant gateway for the King City community and is immediately adjacent to an established residential subdivision and the Heritage and Cultural Centre to the north, the residential subdivision of Jane King Holdings to the south and to the King Township Municipal Centre to the east, CCKT, holds that the three proposed “industrial” buildings are clearly not appropriate in this location and in our view do not represent sound community planning. 

CCKT believes a new vision for this land parcel is needed.  We note that “Institutional” is included in the list of permitted uses / designations on this parcel of land, and propose institutional uses along with other uses.

   
Village of Care – A Vision for the Future

CCKT would like to propose an alternative vision for the Jane King Industrial lands.  We recommend that 25 acres (10+ hectares) of the Jane King Industrial parcel be dedicated to a specially-designed “Village of Care” campus that would address future needs of Seniors in King Township and York Region.  The Village of Care would provide a continuum of care and services from independent living ground level units (compact single-detached units, semi-detached, etc.) to long term care in a multi-unit building with several intermediate options for housing and services, all on an attractive campus which would include a number of amenities.

The additional 30+ hectares could be designed to accommodate a mixed use community with offices (medical, business, etc.) and residential units, along with appropriate ancillary uses, and both natural and landscaped green space for health and recreation.

In the proposed vision, the intention is to include a mix of employment opportunities.

Closing

Thank you for receiving our comments. 

Sincerely, Bruce Craig, Chair, on behalf of CCKT.

cc.     Stephen Naylor, Director or Growth Management Services
Gaspare Ritacca, Senior Planner
Kristen Harrison, Senior Policy Planner
Rosemary Humphries, Humphries Planning Group

This written submission comes on behalf of a King Township resident who happens to be a CCKT member

In every thing we do today, two considerations must be top priorities: the Climate Emergency and the Housing Crisis. My impression of this development is that much of it is the “same old” type of development — not forward thinking and certainly not doing enough to address the two major crises upon us.

Climate Emergency

* The natural heritage features of wetlands, woodlands, and valley systems must be protected on these properties along with adherence to appropriate natural buffers. Everything possible must be done to avoid disrupting or destroying any wetlands as it’s well known that wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate in southern Ontario. ‘Wetland offsetting’ is controversial and risky, and should not be considered here.

From Ontario Nature:

Much of the concern about wetland offsetting stems from the fact that the loss of wetland ecosystems is guaranteed, while timely compensation for those losses is extremely uncertain. Recent research has revealed that even the most rigorous and well-established wetland offsetting programs (i.e., the United States’ wetland offsetting under the Clean Water Act) have been unsuccessful in achieving no net loss.

Furthermore, a study by Pezzati et al. (2018) estimated that wetland biodiversity often requires 10-1,000 years to recover after disturbance, even when supported by active restoration. This highlights the risk of incurring extended “temporary” losses when wetlands are removed for development under the questionable assumption that restoring another site will promptly provide adequate compensation for the lost ecosystem functions and biodiversity.

* All new buildings in commercial and residential developments should be energy efficient with geothermal heating and/or heat pumps (not gas), solar panels, airtight construction, superior insulation, energy-efficient windows, and permeable paving.

Housing Crisis

* While this development application makes reference to a mix of housing types, I believe it could be better. There should be fewer million-dollar single family homes. Instead, we should see the addition of a mix of duplexes and fourplexes, as well as, a low-rise condo/apartment building which would offer more density at more affordable prices. Also, considering provincial density targets, it makes little sense to have commercial-only buildings anymore. The upper floor(s) of any commercial building should be residential; ideally rentals.

* The number of seniors aged 65 and over is projected to increase significantly over the next decades. There is mention of some senior lifestyle housing in this application; however, I would like to see a commitment to a larger range of housing for seniors of all ages and abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Unfortunately it’s likely hindsight now, but the location along King Road at Jane Street would have been an ideal location for a long-term care facility (institutional/employment) that could have been integrated with a seniors village in the residential portion of this development. We no longer have to look to the Netherlands or Sweden for examples of innovative and progressive communities for seniors. We can just look to neighbouring municipalities and the diverse range of housing options and levels of care that they offer.

Town of Beeton in Simcoe County:

https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/ltc/simcoe-village-campus-redevelopment

Waterloo, Ontario:

https://www.luthervillage.org/about-us

Thank you.

Catherine Wellesley
12974 Keele Street, King City