Clair Hills Community News

Vista Hills Update
For updated information on the Vista Hills development, please visit the Waterloo Chronicle at: http://www.waterloochronicle.ca/news/article/144423

Letís Play Basketball!
Due to the time change and colder temperatures, Tuesday night basketball has come to an early end! Thanks to the folks who came out these past few weeks to play! See you in the spring!

Ira Needles Update
For updated information on the development planned along Ira Needles, please visit the Waterloo Chronicle at: http://www.waterloochronicle.ca/news/article/144423

Update on Vista Hills Development

July 25, 2008

LIZ MONTEIRO

RECORD STAFF

WATERLOO ó At a pre-hearing of the Ontario Municipal Board at Waterloo City Hall yesterday, hearing officer Marc Denhez scheduled 14 dates in October and November for the case.

Environmentalist Louisette Lanteigne has objected to three developers, Activa Holdings, William J. Gies Construction Ltd. and Townline Estate, from building homes on the moraine. Up to 4,500 new residents could live in the area if the homes are built.

Lanteigne is worried about the impact on threatened Jefferson salamanders, on fish and their habitats, and on the groundwater. She contends that environmental studies have been flawed and inadequate, and she's hired a hydrogeologist to testify.

"I'm trying to protect the salamander to preserve our water supply,'' Lanteigne said at the pre-hearing. "This isn't rhetoric. I get nothing from this other than protecting people.''

She suggested she's spending $20,000 to pursue the challenge.

Another hearing officer ruled in March that the issue had merit and that proceedings would look at whether previous studies were complete.

In the audience were supporters of Lanteigne, including her husband, Alex David and their daughter Samantha.

In July 2006, the City of Waterloo voted in favour of building about 1,600 new homes on 132 hectares north of Erb Street along Wilmot Line. The subdivisions, called Vista Homes, Clair Creek Meadows and Greyerbiehl, would include 4.8 hectares of parkland and 26 hectares of open space. There is also space for community recreation facilities and a public school.

The Region of Waterloo approved the plans last October.

The subdivisions were already the subject of a 1992 ruling by the Ontario Municipal Board that supported development in the area.

David Robinson, president of the Clair Hills Community Association, in an area that backs onto the lands in question, said he understands the developers' interest in the area. "I'm a realist,'' said Robinson, who's lived in the area for two years and attended the hearing yesterday. "For me, I'd rather see development go ahead that balances the needs of the community and the environment.''

lmonteiro@therecord.com


Roundabout Information
  1. University & Ira Needles:
    • There will be no Costco.
    • Costco submitted an application quite some time ago, and while the application was approved by the City, Costco since declined to build, saying they preferred to look for a different location.
    • The developer has been reviewing the transit studies, residential studies, and other technical studies that were submitted to the city over 2 years ago, because many things have changed since that time.
    • The area at University and Ira Needles is the boundary between Waterloo and Kitchener. Both cities are working together with the developer to determine what will be built in that area.
    • The rumour of a shopping area similar to that of Sunrise Centre is just a rumour. The sign that is posted that shows the design of the stores, etc., is just the developer's vision. The City of Waterloo's major concern is traffic, green space, jobs and simply put, the fact that they want something better than the Sunrise Centre.
    • Schedule for completion is still to be determined. There will be a public input/consultation process. I am on that email list and will forward all details to you as they become available.
  2. West-End Marketplace:
    • The two parcels of land that recently sold across the street from the Canadian Tire roundabout will not be developed anytime soon. They still have a 6 month process, which includes application submission, etc., so we won't see anything there until at least next spring.
    • The land across the street from the Royal Bank was originally zoned for agricultural use, but has since been rezoned commercial. The developer has a concept plan that has been submitted to the City of Waterloo, and it includes a restaurant, some retail, and some office space.
    • The land across from Erbsville Court has been zoned residential but no applications have been submitted to the City as of yet.
    • The City does not anticipate approving any applications for a grocery store at this roundabout
  3. Highland and Ira Needles:
    • There will be a 45,000 sq ft grocery store going up here.
  4. Laurelwood & Erbsville Rd:
    • There is a Food Basics and a Shoppers Drug Mart going up here.

Vista Hills Update
On November 8th, four appeals were submitted to the Region of Waterloo challenging the recent approval of three new subdivision proposals, and regional amendment 37 otherwise known as the Columbia Road Extension. This matter refers to the West Side Lands of Waterloo and will be heard before the Ontario Municipal Board.

The appeals were filed individually however, according to OMB Citizen Liaison dept, it will result in one hearing process designed to address the concerns raised by the public with regards to these proposed developments.

Items of concern for this matter involve surface water and groundwater features, possible consequences on fishes and the risk to Jefferson Salamanders. Thus these concerns involve water wells, vernal ponds and Clair Creek.

The appeals were filed by Lanteigne-David family of Waterloo and were supported directly by the Ecological Group called Waterlooians.ca.

Members of the other groups may participate as a party to this appeal process or serve as witnesses during the OMB hearing. No date has been scheduled yet for this matter.

There is a paypal account open for those wishing to contribute funds for the OMB appeal. Payments can be made to ombmoraine@rogers.com.

Donations can also be mailed to Louisette Lanteigne, 700 Star Flower Ave.Waterloo Ont, N2V 2L2

Additional information on this matter is available at

http://www.geocities.com/savevistahills@rogers.com
and http://www.waterlooians.ca

Previous Vista Hills news:

On Oct.25th, it was announced in The Record that the Vista Hills Development Project had been approved, leaving opponents with very little time to launch an appeal.

For more information, please read the article in The Record by clicking here: http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/260387

Dave Robinson, the President of the Clair Hills Community Association, along with fellow Board Member Lisa Gillis and other members of our neighbourhood, attended the City Council meeting Monday July 23, 2007 to learn about the Vista Hills Development Project. Dave has graciously drafted a commentary of the evening's discussions, click here to view it.

You may not back onto the forest in question, you may not live especially close to Columbia Drive, but you do live in the Villages of Clair Hills and therefore will be impacted. The development of the Vista Hills project is highly sensitive and as this document highlights, will undoubtedly affect our neighbourhood. Please take a moment to read this document and let us know if you have any questions or concerns. It is in our best interest as a community, to stay involved and stay informed.

Click here to see a map of where the Vista Hills development will be going in.

Any comments or questions about this news item? Talk about it in the discussion forums!


More Housing in Clair Hills
More housing is coming to Clair Hills! Within the next year or so, we should see another two rows of single-dwelling units go up behind Sauve Crescent, which is located off Bernay Drive, where our new school is being built. In addition to that, we will see approximately 50 townhouse-style units go up behind the new Canadian Tire along Erbsville Road. Construction on these units will start immediately after the houses on Chablis and St. Armand are finished. Finally, and this may be a contentious issue for some, we can expect to see another 45 single-dwelling homes go up on the land where the Catholic School is no longer being built. Specifically, these homes will go up at St. Moritz and Lucerne. Construction of these homes is not scheduled to commence anytime soon, as the developer must begin the draft proposal process, seek Council approval, etc. Rest assured that we will definitely keep you posted as to the progress of all of these housing developments.

Any comments or questions about this news item? Talk about it in the discussion forums!


Neighbourhood Alert - Break-in Activity
Our neighbourhood continues to experience numerous vehicle break-ins. These break-ins have been happening whether the vehicle has been locked up or not.

It is critical that you call the police anytime an incident occurs on your property, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is. If we do not involve the police, the people responsible for these break-ins will never be caught. If we do not involve the police, these incidents could get worse.

To reach the Waterloo Regional Police for a non-emergency call 519-653-7700, for an emergency dial 911.

Any comments or questions about this news item? Talk about it in the discussion forums!