Proposed Fenelon Falls housing and commercial development attracts huge crowd
Abu Masood was driving around Fenelon Falls earlier this year, a stranger from Markham who was exploring what seemed like an idyllic village.
As he made his way down one particular street, a stranger who was cutting his grass saw him and waved – not an uncommon action in a small community. But the incident stayed with Abu, for it reminded him of his own small-village roots in Pakistan, growing up in a place where it felt like there was a common good.
For Masood, the president of Digram Developments Inc., it now means convincing Fenelon Falls residents that he wants to improve the village that captured his imagination – not change its essential character. He finds it incredible that so few builds have happened in Fenelon, given the desperate need for housing in the area.
A capacity crowd of 400 people filled the Fenelon Falls Community Centre for an information meeting in mid-November to hear his plans. They wanted to learn more about the build he has in mind, known as the Fenelon Trails housing development.
Presentations from a representative of TOR Construction, and planners GHD gave details about the potential development which consists of 894 dwelling units comprised of 427 single detached homes, 242 townhouses, one mixed-use block and three medium-density residential blocks.
Building would take place on land lying roughly south of the Ultramar gas station on Kawartha Lakes Road 121, east of Deane St, Kennedy Drive, and Clifton St, and west of Sturgeon Point Road, terminating near Kawartha Lakes Road 22 to the south.
Interruptions by a handful of organized attendees made a large group question and answer session impossible, but the principals stayed after a recess and were available for discussions with individuals who remained from the large crowd.
The meeting was organized in response to “misinformation” in the community, organizers said, and was not required as part of the application process. The group has submitted applications to amend the official plan, for a draft plan of subdivision, and for a zoning bylaw amendment.
Further public meetings will be held if the project advances past the initial application.