Pinedale plaza no longer viable and needs redevelopment; residents don’t like the intensification.



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  June 21, 2013  It’s an eyesore.  It no longer works as a commercial entity and the owners of the property want to re-develop.  Everyone agrees that something has to be done – but there is very little agreement on what should be done.

Pinedale Plaza is all but abandoned; two tenants and a site that is covered with graffiti. An eyesore for the community but residents don’t like the number of units the developer wants to build on the property.

The Pinedale Plaza, located east of Appleby Line north of New Street, served the neighbourhood for years but that day has passed.  Small shopping plazas have seen their day.  This plaza is now covered with graffiti and has few tenants. 

The owners, they took possession in 2011, have come up with a plan to develop the site and put 19 street  townhouses on the property with 7 of those units fronting on Pinedale and 12 fronting on Wedgewood Drive.

As is usual in these presentations, the residents see that as far too many buildings; something that will change the tone, look and feel of the neighbourhood – they want something smaller.

That cross walk handles pedestrian traffic for three schools and a community centre. Residents feel that having seven units with driveways back onto the street is unsafe.

The units that would front on Pinedale would each have their own driveways – which for the locals is a problem.  There is a school crossing guard on the corner and three schools in the immediate area.

This project is certainly intensification – excessive? Not necessarily.  Vehicle access from the units on Pinedale is a problem; some redesign might help. 

What is close to exceptional is the depth of the lots.  There have been development applications that have postage stamp yards.  Many of the new, very expensive homes in Alton don’t have yards the size of those being proposed for the plaza.

Large lots are a feature; the concentration of units on Pinedale is a concern – expect to see that cut back to five – maybe less.

The presentation, at what was the required public meeting,  where anyone can show up and put their like or dislike forward, is the first time all the parties, the developer, the residents and council members are all in the same place and a sense of  the reaction to the development can be gained.

The residents aren’t excited about this one and the driveways that front onto Pinewood are a genuine concern – but every other house in the immediate area has a driveway.

The city’s planners take part in the meeting.  The architect and the developer’s planner are usually at the meeting.  The professionals listen, take their plans away and look for ways to make the changes that will keep the residents happy, satisfy the city planning department and leave a developer satisfied that the project will be a profitable one.

There is little doubt that the plaza has to go – is the intensification just a little too much?  Maybe, but the city has approved projects where people are squeezed into small spaces with very little yard space.

It is a property that no longer meets the needs of the community. It is time for redevelopment.  A developer has proposed a 19 unit townhouse project that will have very large yards.  Traffic in the area will increase.

There is a senior’s home to the east of the project and three schools plus a community centre in the immediate area.

There is a concern with the quality of the traffic study that was submitted.  Residents of the community pointed out that the intersection of Pinedale and Mullins Way is a gateway to three schools, a community centre and a seniors complex and that the study submitted was seen by a number of residents as inadequate at best and misleading (deliberately) at worst.

Expect the planners to be looking at that traffic study very carefully.

The development is located in Ward 5, Paul Sharman territory.  He didn’t appear to have strong views one way or the other – which is unusual for Sharman.

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3 comments to Pinedale plaza no longer viable and needs redevelopment; residents don’t like the intensification.

  • Tim Salisbury

    The yards are large but are only 18 feet wide. The street has no capacity for parking and this type of development will only encourage illegal parking.

  • Brent Tremblay

    Having the garages open at the back rather than to Pinedale which has a corner that all the survey residents exit, a school crossing a nearby senior’s centre makes more sense. That way one exit off Wedgewood could handle all the cars of the new development. Cutting the intensity also makes sense as it would make this plan easier and reduce traffic. having 7 townhomes facing one and one half existing homes does not add up. There is not enough space.

  • Chris Ariens

    driveways too close to the corner to be safe – would be much better with laneways and garages in the back.