Increased traffic on Hinshaw Drive as a result of a new subdivision remains a concern of councillors, but they approved rezoning and outline plan changes to allow it to proceed.
Second and third reading of the rezoning bylaw had been tabled at the June 9 meeting to allow staff to gather more information on traffic in the area.
At Monday’s council meeting, Matthew Pawlow of Parkland Community Planning Services, working on behalf of the town, said the applicant’s engineer provided further traffic analysis.
At present, Hinshaw Drive (north of Herder Drive) is estimated to have 1,520 vpd (vehicles per day), well below the design standard of 3,000 vpd. “After full build out of Hampton Pointe (as proposed) it is estimated to have 2,970 vpd,” still below the 3,000 acceptable level.
Information also indicated the intersection of Herder and Hinshaw “is anticipated to function acceptably”.
The report to council also noted that the revised plan only adds 24 additional lots to an already approved plan, adding just 240 vpd to what’s already approved.
Councillor Jas Payne said his original apprehension about the traffic remains. The 2,970 vpd figure “means that stretch of road is at its maximum all the time”. He added it already appears to be a narrow road with parking on both sides and snow at the curb during winters like we’ve just experienced.
Pawlow noted one of the considerations from staff was removing parking from the east side of Hinshaw Drive.
Another concern was raised by Councillor Megan Chernoff. She said if garage or secondary suites were allowed in the subdivision, the traffic numbers would increase above the standard. Her other issue was lack of park space in what would be a large subdivision, because it had been allocated elsewhere in Hewlett Park.
“The cold hard reality is this is a product of poor planning 15 years ago when Hewlett Park started,” said Councillor Matt Prete. “We don’t have a lot of choice.”
Councillor Dale Plante agreed. “This is a nightmare, there’s no other way to exit this area. Just because it’s okay doesn’t mean it’s going to be comfortable.”
It was pointed out that if Hinshaw gets backed up at the corner of Herder, drivers may choose to exit the area via Hunter Road and Hagerman Road to Herder.
Councillors passed the rezoning bylaw with Chernoff voting against. Councillor Chris Lust was absent from the meeting. They unanimously approved outline plan changes.
They also directed staff to come back with a recommendation for removing parking on the east side of Hinshaw Drive, a cost estimate for installing lights at Hinshaw and Herder intersection and a way to address the current condition of the road which was described by Chernoff as being in “bad repair”.
Later in the meeting they discussed secondary suites and were told it is possible to prohibit them in certain areas.