Addition and second building proposed for Laird site
Traffic and displacement of local businesses were two hot topics at a community consultation on the redevelopment of 33 Laird Dr. at Canvarco Road on Jan. 5.
A developer is proposing to amend land use policies and zoning bylaws to build on to the existing two-storey heritage building, as well as add a two-storey, 1,608-square-metre building for mixed commercial use.
Currently owned by the Levitt family, the property is in the process of changing hands, and the Levitts signed a waiver allowing the prospective developer to submit an application.
During the feedback portion of the consultation, Joseph Bonfa, owner of Delta Disposal Systems, which is a tenant on the property, expressed concern over traffic expected to increase to 200 cars an hour — 100 each way — on the narrow stretch of Canvarco Road.
That kind of traffic and the alterations to the street could shut him down, along with other businesses, he said.
One suggestion brought up to alleviate the traffic was to punch through the dead end of Canvarco Road to Esandar Drive. The city admitted there has been no consideration for that idea.
City planner Michelle Corcoran assured there is more to be done in order for the proposal to be approved. A list of issues was included in the preliminary report, including the respecting of the existing heritage building status, the size, vehicular and pedestrian accesses, parking, landscaping, storage, waste management and traffic.
“It’s going to go back and forth several times before we are in a position to say, we support this,” Corcoran said. “It’s usually at least nine months with these applications, and that’s being generous.”
She also commended residents for their involvement, though the process can be trying for all those involved.
“There are always some challenges, but Leaside is a very dedicated community, and I appreciate their involvement in these applications,” she said.
Representing the developer were architect Allan Stone from SMV Architects, consulting traffic engineer Jim Bacchus, and urban planner Oz Kemal.
“We’re hoping we can achieve what we proposed, if not in the exact form, but in some similar fashion,” Kemal told the Town Crier. “There are some challenges. There is traffic. We’re working through some of the comments from staff right now, and we’ll see what goes.”