Public Meeting of Council


Briday Development - Former Victoria Public School

Meeting #:
Tecumseh Town Hall - Council Chambers
917 Lesperance Road
Tecumseh, Ontario N8N 1W9
  • Mayor Gary McNamara
  • Deputy Mayor Joe Bachetti
  • Councillor Bill Altenhof
  • Councillor Andrew Dowie
  • Councillor Brian Houston
  • Councillor Tania Jobin
  • Councillor Rick Tonial
Also Present:
  • Chief Administrative Officer, Margaret Misek-Evans
  • Director Public Works & Environmental Services, Phil Bartnik
  • Director Planning & Building Services, Brian Hillman
  • Director Financial Services & Chief Financial Officer, Tom Kitsos
  • Director Corporate Services & Clerk, Laura Moy
  • Deputy Clerk & Manager Legislative Services, Jennifer Alexander
  • Manager Engineering Services, John Henderson
  • Manager Planning Services, Chad Jeffery
  • Manager Strategic Initiatives, Lesley Reeves

The Mayor calls the meeting to order at 5:00 pm.

There is no pecuniary interest declared by a Member of Council.

The purpose of this public meeting is to hear public comment on the applications for an Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments for a proposed residential condominium development on a parcel of land located at 12433 Dillon Drive.  

The application for the proposed Official Plan amendment is requesting a redesignation of the parcel of land from "Community Facility" to "Residential" to accommodate the proposed development.

The associated proposed Zoning By-law amendment is requesting to change the zoning from "Community Facility Zone" and "Residential Zone 1 (R1)" to a site specific "Residential Zone 3 (R3-16)". The proposed R3-16 zone would permit the proposed residential uses and establish various site specific zone provisions.  In addition, the proposed rezoning would add a definition for the term "stacked townhouse dwelling unit" to the definitions section of Tecumseh Zoning By-law 1746.

The Mayor requests the audience to sign the attendance sheet for future notifications for the second Public Council Meeting on the subject matter.

  • Motion: PCM -46/19
    Moved ByCouncillor Bill Altenhof
    Seconded ByCouncillor Brian Houston

    That Administration be directed to prepare a report based on the comments and concerns provided at the September 10, 2019, Public Meeting of Council, both verbally and in writing, for Council to consider at a the future second Public Meeting of Council on the proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments for 12433 Dillion Drive;

    And that written mail notice of the next Public Meeting of Council be given to residents within 120 metres of the subject property and to persons who have signed in at the September 10, 2019, Public Meeting of Council, and the notice to be posted on the Town's website and social media;

    And further that the Agenda for the meeting be posted on the Town's website in advance of the next date of the Public Meeting of Council on the subject matter.



The Director Planning & Building Services provides comments on the application process through the Planning Act and Council responsibilities.  He explains the timing of planning applications, who is granted the authority to approve development, and the role of the Planning Department. It is noted that public input is a significant and important component of the application process.

The Manager Planning Services provides an overview of the proposal. The proposed site is the former Victoria Public School, which has been demolished and is vacant. 

Mr. Ublansky introduces himself to the Members. He is a Principle at Briday Victoria Development Corporation (Briday) and is looking forward to working on this proposed development.  Mr. Ublansky is a resident of Tecumseh and he has completed a few developments in Town, most recently the Lakewood Development. 

Mr. Casey Kulchychi, Senior Planner for the Applicant, is joined by his consulting team who provided the supporting documentation for the application.  He explains the Applicant held a public meeting in November 2018, proposing a development of 94 units which included a six storey apartment building. This meeting was well attended and the consulting team drafted a new development proposal which is presented to Council.

The new proposed development is composed of 63 units and a small parkette.  It has 23 two-storey townhouse units and 40 stacked townhouse units. Mr. Kulchychi addresses the privacy concerns with the proposed height of the stacked townhouses by reducing the number of storeys and increasing buffering between the property lines. A tree retention plan is being prepared and will be provided when complete.

The design of the development is reviewed.  Mr. Kulchychi explains  the former school building inspired the colour scheme and features.  The town houses have no basements given the flooding history of the neighbourhood.

The parkette is discussed and the type of structure that could be developed.

Mrs. Teno explains that she is not against development in the Town. She would like the development to be respectful and compatible with the neighbourhood, and enhance the surrounding area.  She is opposed to Briday's proposal.

Mrs. Teno has hired a planner, Tom Storey, to commission a planning report for Council's review. She notes the concerns outlined in the report. She comments that the County and the Tecumseh Official Plan both require new development to be similar to a surrounding area in scale and density. The development must be consistent in these areas.  

She refers to a 2015 Planning Report on housing authored by the Manager Planning Services regarding intensification. Mrs. Teno comments that Briday's proposal fails to include any of the recommendations in the report. 

The scale and density of the proposed development is raised. She did a walking survey of the neighbourhood and 97% of the homes were single-family detached houses. Briday is proposing 100% attached townhomes. The density in the neighbourhood is reviewed. She notes the proposed development is 240% greater than the surrounding neighbourhood. The proposed development is not similar in scale or density. 

Carmelita Court development is raised for comparison. Mrs. Teno notes that through completing a walking survey that this area is 100% single storey semi-detached houses. She likes the precedence of this development for scale and density. If this precedent was applied to the Briday proposal, then only 34 units not 63 units would be developed, as well as, a significant majority of the units would be single storey.  She further comments that it is fair that residents could live with 34 units mostly single storey.

Mrs. Teno states this development is not compatible with the neighbourhood. The proposed development fronts an arterial road.  She disputes that Dillon Drive and Little River Boulevard are local roads not collector roads.

Mrs. Teno expresses the development does not match the neighbourhood.  The three-storey walk-up has no backyard or green space for people on the upper floors. This development will harm the neighbourhood's personality, beauty and character.

The Mayor requests that Mrs. Teno's speaking notes be submitted to the Clerk. 

Mr. Teno has lived in Tecumseh all his life.  He explains that the type of density proposed with this development has been associated with an increase in crime. He comments that common sense changes to the Briday proposal are needed. He does not want a three storey walk-up building.  

He would like less density to complement the neighbourhood similar to a development like Carmelita Court.  It is on a former school property and he feels it would be perfect for the former Victoria Public School neighbourhood.  Mr. Teno explains this proposal is not for seniors and young families, as strollers and carrying groceries are challenging in three-storey walk-ups. 

He acknowledges the good job of Briday's prior developments of Christy Lane and Hayes Avenue. Mr. Teno is willing to work with the developer to have an appropriate development in the neighbourhood.

The Mayor requests that Mr. Teno's speaking notes be submitted to the Clerk. 

Mr. Boghean addresses his issues of the proposed development from the perspective of young families, retirees, seniors and aging populations.  He refers to the June 28, 2016 Council minutes in regards to the discussion on urbanization, transportation and the aging populations in the area. It mentions the importance of the required infrastructure. He notes the shift of the 65 and older population is growing along with increased disabilities. 

He explains that the two and three-storey units do not accommodate seniors.  Mr. Boghean suggests that seniors need a single storey option, similar to homes in Carmelita Court.  He comments that it is important to keep family with family and the community together. 

Mrs. Lachance is opposed to the proposed Briday development and feels that the property should remain an R1 designation. She was born and raised in Tecumseh. Mrs. Lachance moved into this quiet neighbourhood five years ago to raise her growing family. The development should be compatible to the neighbourhood and this proposal does not fit. 

Traffic concerns are raised as she lives directly across from the proposed development location. She comments on the light and noise with the number of vehicles entering and exiting the development as the entrance would be at her house.

Mrs. Lachance would like to see a development similar to Pinewood Crescent or Carmelita Court.   

She comments on the road conditions and the lack of roadwork repairs.  She is concerned about the watermains and the development taxing these systems.  Mrs. Lachance inquires if this development addresses the aging waterlines and sanitary sewers being upgraded. 

Mrs. Lachance submits her speaking notes to the Clerk.

Mr. McConnell highlights concerns outlined in his letter submitted on the Agenda. He is in favour of a development like Carmelita Court.  He raises issue with the traffic study and the data collected. He notes the increase levels of traffic since they moved in 37 years ago. The access points to get out of the neighborhood are discussed.

He is opposed to the rezoning application for R3 designation. The infrastructure needs have to be addressed by the Town before any approval of development.

The Mayor opens the floor for public comments.

Mrs. Beale explains that she cannot get out of her driveway due to the existing levels of traffic. She is a long-time resident in the area.  She raises the issue of flooding that her property has experienced in the past and notes she can no longer get flood insurance. The infrastructure in the area has not been updated to deal with flooding.  It is noted that she has taken advantage of all the Town's grant programs to assist with sump pumps.  She has concerns over flooding and what this development will do.      

Mr. St. Amour requests that Council take a poll of the room, a non-binding survey, to capture the overall temperature of the room either in favour or against this development proposal.

The Mayor polls the audience in the Council Chambers.  The results are based on the meeting's sign in sheet, with 108 people in attendance - 17 are in favour, 0 are neutral, and 91 are against.   

Mr. Mino has lived at this residence for 50 years. He mentions flooding issues in the area.  He inquires if the Essex Region Conservation Authority is requiring the land to be raised for the proposed development and what will happen with the pooling water in the fields.  Mr. Mino is concerned this will affect his property.

Mrs. Gardner has lived at her residence for five years and has noticed an increase in traffic. She explains the short cuts that people take with their vehicles to get to Lacasse Boulevard.  There is speeding on her street and she is concerned with the traffic assessment results. 

Mrs. Gardner states there is more foot traffic along her property and people leave garbage in her yard.  There is not enough infrastructure or garbage cans along the road for them to deposit their garbage.   

Ms. Pereira's residence is directly across from the former Victoria Public School.  She is concerned with the flooding issues the area has experienced.  The parking lot at the school is much higher and the water runs off onto her property and puddles with the excess water.  She would like something done about it.   

Mr. Grossett understands the need for new development and states people have voices and want to be heard. He stresses common sense with this development.  He wishes the developer good luck and hopes he listens to the people around the neighbourhood. 

Mr. Hill lives in a Briday development and is happy with it. He is supportive of the development, as he has been trying to move his parents into Tecumseh for years.  There is a lack of housing in Town for his parents to downsize.

Ms. Cole agrees with the comments and is opposed to this development. She raises the issue of property values since the school closed and the property sold.  She would like the value of the development to be considered as it affects property values in the area. 

Mr. Mrkalj raises the density of the proposed development. The area is zoned R1 and he comments that there is no R3 zoning in the area.  He would like to see some development happen on the property that will complement the neighbourhood.  He notes all the development occurring within the Town, with retirement condominiums.  He inquires why they are not being developed.  Mr. Mrkalj feels there is not a lack of condominiums available for seniors, rather they are not selling.  

The Mayor clarifies remarks from Mr. Mrkalj regarding the retirement condominiums, stating that the developments mentioned are awaiting site plan control and County approval but the developments are ready to go.  He notes one of the developments is sold out. 

Ms. Monforton moved from Toronto to Tecumseh to get away from this type of development.  She does not want the neighbourhood ruined. 

Mr. Loretto, the Applicant's Architect, addresses the aging population comments.  He explains the development is in the early design stages and highlights the large floor space in the units.  He notes that there is some flexibility to add residential lifts if needed.   He states he is trying to design for the aging masses. 

Mr. Blatta addresses some of the traffic concerns raised, as he is the author of the traffic report. He explains the data gathering process that led to the findings in his report. 

Mrs. Vendrasco inquires about the price range of the condominiums as this development will affect the value of her home.  She is concerned over the increased density.  Recently, she received a letter from a Councillor that indicated there was a proposal for this land to be geared to income. Mrs. Vendrasco states that this will devalue her home. 

Mr. Ublansky explains they are in the preliminary stages of the development and indicates that this is not a low-income housing project.  The scope of work would be middle to higher range units.  The markets will dictate the actual price of the units.  Mr. Ublansky states that he does not believe this development would devalue other houses in the area.

Mr. McCann lives directly across from the development.  He is opposed to the R3 amendment and would like the current zoning to remain.  He expresses concern over lights shining into his house with the cars exiting the proposed development. 

Mrs. Berry requests that a stop sign be erected on St. Pierre Street. She is concerned on the number of cars and speeding on Little River Boulevard.  She has not seen any enforcement.  Mrs. Berry does not approve of this development and location of the entrance.  She is concerned over the vehicles' lights shinning into her home. 

Mr. Caverhill raises concerns over speeding enforcement on Lacasse Boulevard and vehicles failing to stop at the stop sign. This development will encourage more of the same. He inquires on when the existing traffic laws will be enforced.  He also inquires on the provisions for the storm sewer system that this proposed development is built on.  

The Mayor comments that this development is not a done deal. He explains the approval process to Mr. Caverhill and states that the Town is a long way from approving the proposed development.  This is a meeting to gather information from the residents and the proponent on the development. Some of the issues raised are beyond the development and will need to be addressed by the Town.

The Mayor reminds members in the audience to sign the sign in sheet for further notification on this subject matter and any additional comments could be submitted to the Clerk for Council's consideration.

Re: Proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendment by Briday for the former Victoria School Property.

Re: Support for proposed Zoning By-Law and Official Plan Amendments and Request for Notification of Decision taken by Council

Re: Objection to the proposed Zoning By-Law and Official Plan Amendments

Re: Proposed Victoria School Development

Re: Application for Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-Law Amendment - 12433 Dillon Drive



  • Motion: PCM -47/19
    Moved ByCouncillor Tania Jobin
    Seconded ByDeputy Mayor Joe Bachetti

    That Communications - For Information 1 through 22 as listed on the Tuesday, September 10, 2019 Public Council Meeting Agenda are received.

  • Motion: PCM -48/19
    Moved ByCouncillor Bill Altenhof
    Seconded ByCouncillor Brian Houston

    That there being no further business, the Tuesday, September 10, 2019 meeting of the Public Council Meeting now adjourn at 6:45 pm.

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