All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Sunday, June 13th, 2021

Fields of Wellington sub-division, a step closer to reality

 

By Sharon Harrison
The Fields of Wellington proposed sub-division took a step forward this week, receiving no objections from council for an Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendments.

Consultant Ryan Guetter noted an already extensive process, and statutory public meeting held last summer for the 650-unit build located near Consecon Street in Wellington.

Phase one is to include 127 residential units. Development comprising town houses, small detached family houses and bungalows is expected to exceed 10 years.

Developer Alan Hirschfield said they hoped to have one three- or four-storey building to be seniors-focused, and one to be a rental apartment focused toward affordability.

“We would like to put one of those buildings in when there is sufficient demand, when the community supports it and when there is infrastructure to deal with it, so the timeline is really up to the community to guide us.”

Alan Hirschfield

“Ultimately, this overall vision is intent on delivering diversity of housing, both attainable to entry-level first-time buyers, families big and small, as well as seniors,” said Guetter.

Hirschfield has been working on this project for more than four years and states the process has been a personally rewarding one for him and his wife.

“We have enjoyed the process so far and we have learned a lot about what the County is looking for,” he said, noting the County is facing some daunting challenges in terms of infrastructure and pace of growth.

“We recognize that the character of the village above all has to be maintained to preserve the value of our real estate, and your real estate; it has to remain a village,” he said. “We’d like to build a few houses sooner rather than later, and then the County still has control through the interim phasing of infrastructure and how quickly it wants to grow.”

Hirschfield also said they were happy to participate financially in assisting with infrastructure, “because it’s for our good and the good of the community.”

Councillor Brad Nieman asked how close the development was to the landfill site, citing potential complaints with future purchasers. Guetter said there would be disclosure.

Wellington councillor Mike Harper asked Hirschfield to speak to the issue of demand for housing, noting one of the concerns in the community is Wellington hasn’t grown.

“How do we expect to sell all these houses and where are all these people coming from?” asked Harper.

“From a developer’s perspective, the biggest challenge is going to be to control growth, not to find growth,” Hirschfield said. “Prince Edward County is one of the hottest real estate markets in Ontario right now because of the character of Prince Edward County, and I hate to see it spoiled by explosive growth.”

He said they have no concerns at a long steady growth in a 10-15 year timeframe with a small amount of housing in each phase (around 100 units per phase is anticipated), and not in a five to 10 year timeframe.”

Councillor Janice Maynard suggested having the mid-rise options pushed into the later phases as it may not be what the community wants and needs.

“How do you address a phasing to incorporate affordable housing?” she asked.

Hirschfield answered that “It is a very difficult and prickly question because we are dealing with some fixed things: fixed engineering and infrastructure costs, lumber has doubled in price in the last year. The split where you can effect affordability is quite small, so the most creative way we thought we could deal with this was through attainable housing.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. SM says:

    House prices in the County began to rise around 2015 and have continued since then, along with an explosion in the number of Short Term Accommodation units and secondary dwellings. Wellington on the Lake is now completely built out.
    Mr Harper asks where will we find the people to buy all these houses. Mr Hirschfield answers by saying the the County is one of the hottest markets in Ontario. The next question should be: “who are these people that are expected to buy these houses?” Are they more seniors? Are these secondary homes buyers? Are they investors / speculators / short term rental?
    Covid has created a crazy real estate market in cottage country over the past year. Some cooler heads have been asking what will happen when workers are expected to return to the office / factory / restaurant / bar and so on.
    Perhaps the County should find out who has been buying during the past 5 years and what they are doing with the property. It is called knowing your market. That may give you an idea of what future growth will be.

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