Did you move to your home for the location? Was it for the trees? The feel of the street or was it the neighbours? Maybe it was for all of these reasons?
What if all that changed? Would you want your home? Would you stay?
Location comes into play when hunting for your home and that is why you should take note of the 22 Weber St W development. This latest example is what corporate developers can do by bypassing all zoning laws and set out to bulldoze city council. For most of us, the City of Kitchener has by laws and zoning regulations that set out what we can and cannot do to a property. But this development is proving otherwise. There are multiple allowances they are asking in the zoning, Olde Berlin Town Neighbourhood Assoc (OBTNA) have covered here.
In my opinion, the most shocking part is that they are asking for a unlimited height zone change. Based on the drawings it currently appears to be expected to be 12 stories taller than current adjacent heritage buildings and 7 stories taller than the future max zoning plans (which is still under review). Those estimates are based on the current design but the developer is officially asking for unlimited height zoning change.
To the homeowners and investors who purchased around 22 Weber St this is a slap. This corporate developer is proposing to shadow heritage homes and ruin the location of their property. You may feel that that’s their risk and we need intensification so they need to “deal.” But this site is setting a precedence, that any developer can come in anywhere and build to any height. Appropriate intensification is already in the proposed zoning plans that still are under review. Allowing a unlimited rodeo will destroy any neighbourhood. Please do not think, “oh that’s them”, no, this is a new precedent and if it’s allowed through, anywhere will be fair game.
Do not sit back and let your Councilor be bullied into allowing this developer to do whatever they want. We need to encourage Council to stand up and say yes please, but within the guidelines that are set out. Let’s encourage intensification fairly and not at a random lottery.
— Kelly-Ann Callaghan