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Development to open Church Street, but concerns for AUPS students

Posted March 25, 2014

A 24-lot residential development that will fill in a 4.7 acre gap bounded by Church Street and Evans Road and Burt Avenue and Hussey Street, is cleared to begin the grading and servicing component of the project, prior to a deal on a plan of subdivision.

Formerly Alliston Horizons, with draft plan approval granted in June 2003, it's now being developed by Copperglen Estates Inc and Delwood Estates, and has grown from 21 lots to 24 single detached units.

The Town staff report to council shows the the grading of the site will require the export of approximately 13,530 cubic meters of material to lower the site to grades proposed on the grading plans. Of that about 6,000 cubic meters of stripped topsoil from the earthworks will be transported north along Church Street N. to the other lands owned by Copperglen Estates at the north end of Alliston, where it will be temporarily stored in a stockpile, then returned to be re-used for landscaping.

"The excess soil will be disposed of off-site; the Developer is required to advise of the disposal site and will need to receive the approval of the Town. As per the agreement, the haul route is proposed to be along Church Street north then east on Shephard Avenue to Boyne Street needs to be maintained during the Earthworks."

What's significant about this development is that it will open the remaining piece of Church Street North between Burt and Hussey. It will also provide a connection for Evans Road.

One of the concerns though during the construction period is that it's expected to be a favoured walking route for students attending the new Alliston Union Public School (AUPS) when it opens this September.

Mayor Mike MacEachern said he hoped there would be a provision to make sure the developer is aware they can expect students will use the development site as a path to school.

"There could be some serious issues that are going to arise because they will probably not have this subdivision completed before the school is ready to be occupied," said the mayor. "Try to understand how we're going to mitigate students walking through that site, because it's just the easiest access to the school, and I don't see us being able to control that very well."

Rick Vatri, Director of Engineering confirmed it was unlikely the homes would be occupied by the time the school opened.

"It will be an active construction zone, there will be material generally on the edges of the road, there will be no sidewalks; sidewalks don't come in until after the homes are constructed and the finished boulevards are completed," said Mr. Vatri. "Best case scenario will be next year 2015 before sidewalks will be installed. During that time, people should be encouraged to walk around that area and not use it as an access."

"Can I just ask staff work with the developer and the school board to try and understand how we're going to mitigate eventual students walking through the site, because it's just the easiest access to the school, and I don't see us being able to control that very well," replied the mayor. "I know we're not going to get it perfect, but if we can try to educate before hand, that would be great."

Ward 1 councillor Bob Marrs said he could foresee the students walking through the site, because he would do the same thing.

"Possibly something a line of a simple fence going down both sides as a walkway, because I know if I was going to that school, I'd be walking up through there, and I don't care what you put in there," said Mr. Marrs. "But if it's something simple you can walk through that keeps them away from the rest of the construction. I'm sure we can come up with something brilliant like that to allow us to give them a spot to go through."

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