Two new apartment buildings could be going up in South Porcupine.
Tuesday, Timmins council approved a zoning change for 185 Crawford St. to allow for Praztek Construction to build two, three-storey buildings with six apartments each on the lot. The applicant will still need a site plan control agreement approved by council for the development.
The design for the development was included in the staff report. One building would face west, with vehicle access on Crawford, and the second building would face east with access via Front Street.
A petition with 88 signatures from nearby residents, as well as letters of concerns about parking, traffic, community character and infrastructure were also included in the report.
Coun. Mickey Auger, who represents Ward 2 where the lot is located, and Coun. John Curley, who represents the neighbouring Porcupine ward, were not at the meeting.
The petition from residents notes that the existing improved infrastructure on Front Street between Essa and Powell "cannot handle the current capacity" and that the infrastructure on Front Street north of Powell has not been upgraded.
"The current sewage system is currently over its limits at this time. Even with the improvements made by the city over the past few years, a large number of area residences still have experienced system surges this past spring. Sewage backup failures have created thousands of dollars in damages and major inconveniences for the existing residences," reads an email from Norm Nankervis that was sent to the planning department in September.
Schumacher Coun. Joe Campbell asked about the sewage capacity in the community.
“My position is this should be deferred tonight until engineering department can bring us back positive results that this didn’t happen to these homeowners and it’s not going to happen,” he said.
Manager of planning Cindy Welsh said engineering didn't cite any issues at the pre-consultation meeting or in the comments of the report that was circulated.
Clerk Steph Palmateer said the city internally researched the claim about sewage backup failures. In the past five years, the city has received one claim in that area.
“The claims are unfounded at this point. We as a city have no record of any issues or multiple issues in that area. Once in the last five years is not considered a problem area,” he said.
Welsh said planning staff went through every address in the petition and all are zoned as residential second density.
"That zone actually allows for single-detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings and apartments in houses, so it does allow for intensification to occur on properties that are zoned as residential second density as well,” she said.
In the site plan control application, the staff report notes a number of items would be addressed then, including roads, curbs, sidewalks, boulevards and ditches; existing and proposed elevations; finished floor elevation; swales, ditches and channels; applicable stormwater management report, plans and calculations; retaining walls; catchbasins; culverts and snow storage areas.
While there were also concerns about noise and smoking and property values dropping, the report notes these are not planning issues. The engineering department did not ask for a traffic impact study for the rezoning application.