What was the town thinking?

diagramThis was the general question of the residents who visited the South Central Oakville Land-Use Open House during the mid-afternoon at the Oakville Arena’s Pineroom. The town is going thru the steps it laid out to residents on November 6, 2012 for the rezoning of lands soon to be vacated by Oakville Trafalgar Hospital, as well as the properties occupied by the public schools that were closed by the Halton Board of Education. These are substantial parcels of land located in one Canada’s of most exclusive communities. The town councillors and departments are walking a difficult line. The community has certain expectations; however, those wants must be funded – and the money is going to be thru the sale of land to developers. It would be incredible to have parks replace all the lands under consideration, and could happen if the funds could be found.

Most of the South-East Oakville residents already feels slighted by the public school closings, and the relocation of the hospital.  Residents are concerned to have the entire facility moved 20 minutes north. It will leave a substantial hole in Old Oakville. The employees from doctors to cleaning staff along with the 1000′s of people who visited friends and family play a major role in shaping downtown Oakville.

So now the community is presented with the South-Central Land-Use Proposal. Town planners have consulted and now are providing various options for the communities directly effected to consider. The largest increase in land use is zoned for new single detached homes. The second major land use option is for private community use. Private community use properties can range from houses of worship, day-cares, to private clubs. The newest elements to the plan are for a community centre, a 25 metre pool, and a skateboard park. It would likely be a good idea to make sure that the skate-park be in a courtyard, in order to contain the noise.

The school lands have two options with different configurations: private community use, and residential housing with an option for a small park. The only difference between the options is if the residents want all private community use, all residential or a mixture of both.

The hospital lands has the most options and configurations, but the elements that were presented as part of Land-Use were: a community centre which must be attached to a park, a 25 metre six lane pool, townhouses, detached homes, low-rise apartments, and a medical centre (not run by Halton Healthcare).

There are a great many issues still to be decided, so there is still time to be part of this major change: February 6th or 7th there will be a stakeholders’ meeting, February 12th the town of Oakville will hold another Open House for further community involvement, February 19th a council sub-committee will finalize plans, and on March 18th a staff report of final recommendations will be presented and next steps outlined. There is time for you to become involved in the process by letting your town councillors know your perspective.

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