Slide presented to council showing lot as it exists now, left, and proposed development, right. SUPPLIED

Request to build an additional four homes on single-home lot

Pelham Council voted to receive a rezoning proposal during a Nov. 9 Public Meeting under the Planning Act. The proposal calls for the large property at 3 Hurricane Road to be subdivided into site-specific R1, with a plan for four new single-dwelling homes to surround the existing house.

The relatively low-density proposal was accompanied by seven letters of support from nearby residents, yet, ironically, some of the opposition came from the property’s adjacent townhouse residents.

Allan Heywood, a representative for the developer — the family of the property’s longtime owners — said they had taken the step of consulting with neighbours before submitting plans.

“We personally canvassed the neighbours and openly discussed the plans,” Heywood told councillors. “We have written support by almost every neighbouring property.”

Neighbouring townhouse complex resident Phil Sheehan disagreed.

“Obviously, Mr. Heywood wants the neighbours to agree with him and convince the council that they should agree with him as well,” Sheehan said during a 13-minute presentation.

“One of his comments was that a large majority supported — I have not seen that in any materials or have had any contact with anybody who has told me there is a large majority.”

Heywood dismissed Sheehan’s motives later in the meeting.

“Mr. Sheehan, he’s just a retired lawyer who thinks he can interrogate to his benefit,” Heywood said.

Sheehan, who has lived in the 45-year-old townhouse complex — Pelham’s oldest — for several years, did note that the area has been prone to flooding in the past, citing $15,000 in damage to his basement over the years. That brought up the question of how the new development would affect drainage.

Director of Community Planning and Development Barb Wiens said those plans would come in the next stage of the process.

Another townhouse complex neighbour, Jack Braybrook, wants Heywood’s group to construct a six-foot-high wooden fence with a mutually-agreed design to protect his privacy.

“The proposal does not include a plan to maintain the existing privacy of the neighbours,” Braybrook said.

Heywood shot down the idea.

“No, I would not contemplate doing that,” he said.

Another nearby resident, former Pelham mayoral candidate and Brock University professor of Earth Sciences Uwe Brand, did not necessarily object to the development, but expressed concern over the owner already removing trees from the property, and the expectation that more will come down.

“It’s woefully inadequate, especially in light of the current climate change situation,” said Brand, who estimated that the storage capacity of one ton of carbon dioxide per year has already been lost.