Future St. Davids subdivision prompts worries from Dyck Lane residents

Some St. Davids residents are at odds with plans for a new subdivision on Tanbark Road which they fear could affect their access to public services.

Planner Aimee Alderman presented the application to rezone lots on Tanbark Road in preparation for new houses at Niagara-on-the-Lake's committee of the whole planning meeting Jan. 17.

The application submitted on behalf of Gatta Homes seeks to amend existing zoning and combine the lots of 134 and 136 Tanbark Rd. in preparation for a new development.

According to a staff report, the town has no initial concerns with the application.

A few residents do, though.

Linda Chang, who lives at 7 Dyck Lane, told councillors the proposed bylaw amendment would compromise the legal right of way residents at Dyck Lane have to Tanbark Road, which abuts the lane.

Dyck Lane terminates at a dead-end on its western side and the residents who live there access public services like garbage pickup, snow removal and emergency vehicles via Tanbark Road, Chang said.

“The severances under discussion are part of a larger plan to consolidate land, including Dyck Lane, for the purpose of development,” she said.

Gatta's project is planned for land just southeast of the corner of Dyck Lane and Tanbark.

Chang feels the concerns of residents on Dyck Lane should be addressed before the town approves the application.

Mike Maves, who lives at 39 Dyck Lane, shared Chang’s concerns, fearing Dyck Lane would be “rolled into” the new development.

He was also worried that a new subdivision would cut off the access to Dyck Lane from Tanbark Road.

“Our objections will not be resolved without some assurances regarding what our alternative road access will look like,” he said.

He noted drivers sometimes get lost in the area and use Dyck Lane as a “frequent turn-around point.”

Donna Hatton, who lives one street over on Hickory Avenue, was less concerned about the impact on Dyck Lane and more by the swell of new subdivisions in the area.

“St. Davids is becoming a bedroom community,” she said.

She worries that if the pattern of development continues, it will increase local traffic congestion but will not bring public services or local amenities to improve the lives of residents.

“I know things don’t happen overnight,” she said. “But the disruption to a small town could be significant.”

Keith Lord wondered what would happen to the evergreen trees along Dyck Lane.

He said residents “are still waiting and will continue to wait” on the response to their concerns.

Under the town meeting’s procedural bylaws, representatives of the developer were not allowed to respond to the residents’ concerns.

Director of development Kirsten McCauley said the residents’ questions will be addressed when town planners write their information report on the application.

Evan Loree, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report