Developer unveils proposal for Charleswood expansion

Proposal first came to HRM in 2013, but revised application put forward by SHAW Living

Some of the attendees to the public open house check out designs for the proposed Charleswood subdivision development from Shaw Group. (Healey photos)

WINDSOR JUNCTION: A proposed development for the Charleswood subdivision in Windsor Junction that has been in the works since 2013 has a new look, and residents had their first opportunity to see it on March 27.

Representatives from The SHAW Living, a subsidiary of SHAW Group, and HRM were on hand as more than 150 people came through the open house, held at the Gordon R. Snow Community Centre in Fall River.

Many of those who came through appeared to be very interested in the designs of the development from looking at them on display in the multipurpose room.

The design of one of the homes for the development. (Healey photo)

The development is proposing 92, single-unit dwellings on 92 acres; and 84 modular-style townhouses on 42 acres. The land is 134 acres, and is expected to be 40 per cent developed and 60 per cent open space/conservation area.It will be subdivided into eight separate lots with access from Cumberland Way and Charleswood Drive.

Andrew Connors, director of operations with SHAW Living, explained the idea behind the development.

“This project is based on an active-adult demographic that wants to stay within the community,” he said. “We have been hearing a lot about that lately. It’s a ground-based scenario that allows people to have their own space, but yet have some private access and outdoor spaces as well.”

He said they heard a lot of positive comments.

“We had some really great feedback in terms of what people are seeing, what the community is sort of consisting of,” said Connors. “We’ll take that feedback and have a look at our plans to see if there’s any revision we can make.

“It’s been a very positive evening.”

Andrew Connors, director of operations with SHAW Living, stands beside a board with the proposed design for the Charlesswood development from his company shown. (Healey photo)

He said the cost for each of the rental units is expected to be between $1,200-1,500 a month.

The townhouses will be rental units built and maintained by the Shaw Group, including snow-clearing in the winter even if the owner is away. Miller Development Limited will own the single-unit dwelling portion of the development.

The feedback board was filling up with notes from residents who went through the room at the open house. (Healey photo)

At the third station in the room was a board where people left their feedback on what they thought of the design. That feedback will be used by the developer, said Connors, in formalizing and looking at any changes they can make to appease concerns expressed.

Traffic and the lack of infrastructure to add this development on top of others proposed or in the process was chief among the concerns, as was the impact it would have on the already overcrowded local schools.

Connors said the target market is for people who don’t have school-aged children.

“Our renters will be in the 50-60-year-old range, so we’re not going to be adding anything to the school loading in the area,” said Connors. “As far as traffic, they will move at different times of the day. They’ll stagger their trips.”

There was also one post it note that stood out among them all. It had one word on it—no.

Connors spoke about the sewage treatment that will take place at the development, a question some mentioned to The Laker they had.

“What were proposing is a technology that is widely used in Europe right now,” he said. “We resell it through our Shaw Pre-Cast group, and it will be all environmentally approved.

“Everything we do has to be approved and follow NSE guidelines so it will be maintained to their regulations.”

HRM planner Thea Langille had a bit of a timeline residents could expect to see for the proposed development’s progression to North West Community Council.

“I’m anticipating that will happen sometime in the fall months,” she said. “If approved by NWCC, this will probably move through the permitting process for 2020.”