Traffic concerns stalled approval of subdivision in Hewlett Park

Lack of a second route into and out of a new subdivision planned for the northeast edge of Hewlett Park

Lack of a second route into and out of a new subdivision planned for the northeast edge of Hewlett Park caused councillors to table a decision on the project to get further information.

During the public hearing portion of the council meeting June 9, adjacent residents Annick Baldwin and Tabatha Church opposed the bylaw which would amend zoning in the area to create more narrow and medium residential lots and eliminate low density residential lots.

The area would be accessed from Hinshaw Drive north of Herder Drive. An emergency access route would come off Erickson Drive but would be blocked except in emergencies.

Baldwin said she was frustrated that she invested in the area thinking it had a certain value and then a plan comes along to change zoning. That destroys the vision of what she had when first moving into the area.

There’s too much R5 (narrow residential lots) in Hewlett Park, she claimed. It’s “devaluing a lot of property values, changing how people view the area.”

She also objected to the fact there will be only one way in and out of the subdivision where over 140 lots are being created.

Church also complained the about devaluation of property suggesting the new area would become a lower priced rental area.

When councillors got around to debating the bylaw they expressed concerns mainly about traffic flow.

Councillor Jas Payne questioned a statement in a report by Matthew Pawlow of Parkland Community Planning Services. The report stated the amendment “will not adversely affect the transportation route examined within the Traffic Impact Assessment originally conducted for the plan area”.

“I don’t see that as being a non-issue. I see it as being a big issue,” Payne said. “It’s absolutely essential,” he said of the need for another access to the area. With 154 lots, he said that’s 154 vehicles between 6 and 8:30 a.m. leaving that close. “With that kind of density, I can’t imagine sacrificing one or two of those lots isn’t possible. It’s more than a concern, this is an absolute stop.”

Payne suggested working with the owner of an adjacent parcel to gain access from Hagerman Road.

While he admitted he agreed with the development, he doesn’t agree with the fact there’s only one way in and one way out.

Councillor Dale Plante agreed. “I think we’re setting ourselves up for something that can’t be reversed once it’s set. To me it’s a red light.”