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Nobleton project will reflect community’s flavour

June 27, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

A new and improved project for downtown Nobleton checks all the boxes. A proposal for commercial and residential blocks, surrounding the historic Hambly House, is heralded as “exciting.”
Council okayed staff recommendations for the bylaw amendment, that will give Nobleton Heritage Development Inc. the go-ahead for 33 apartments and 1,877 square metres of commercial space.
Staff pointed out that since the initial plans were presented in November 2017, the applicant made several changes to address concerns raised by staff and the public.
Among the changes are a reduction in both street level and underground parking spaces; increased building setbacks; facade enhancements, and a recess in the mid-point of building number two.
The plans are to move ahead in two phases, with renovation to the Hambly House and building number one taking place in the first phase. The first building will have 5 apartment units and 299 square metres of commercial space, fronting onto King Road.
Recent streetscaping has improved the Nobleton core, and this property received some new sidewalks, light poles and decorative fencing.
The Nobleton Community Plan, staff pointed out, recognizes the village’s small town character and does permit a mix or commercial and residential uses.
The apartments represent an alternative form of housing which is needed in the community. The stacking of apartments over commercial ground floor spaces “contributes to the vitality of the core area and introduces a built form and density that is appropriate and desirable.”
The units will be one and two bedrooms and will cater to both new couples and seniors.
“The introduction of rental apartments contributes to greater housing choice and improves the range of affordability for housing from what currently exists in the area,” staff said.
The regard to historical significance is reflected in the restoration of the Hambly House, which will be preserved and incorporated into this project as a focal point.
The main feature of this project is a pedestrian plaza or courtyard, measuring roughly 600 square metres. It’s designed to address multiple issues that are important to the core. It will serve as a “dynamic” public gathering space and will contribute to the beautification and greening of the core.
Mark McConville, of Humphries Planning, noted his client has made several changes to the initial proposal, reducing the size and scale of the project. The plans call for main floor commercial uses and residential spaces above. The Hambly House itself will be renovated and become home to offices.
The residential units have been scaled down to 33, from 45 and the height of the buildings has come down a bit as well. Setbacks have been increased; a planting strip, trees and a fence have all been added to spruce up the property.
Councillor David Boyd was pleased, nothing there are “so many exciting elements to this proposal.”
He pointed out this is the most prominent corner in Nobleton and hopes are it will become a community gathering place.
There are two mature birch trees in front of the Hambly House but it’s uncertain whether they can remain.
Boyd was especially pleased by the use of yellow brick accents on the buildings and facades, that come close to matching the Hambly House.
This current proposal, he said, “comes leaps and bounds from the beginning.”
Mayor Steve Pellegini agreed that the new design is “outstanding.”



         

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