A massive development in Glenburnie heads to Kingston City Hall for a crucial vote later this week.
The Unity Inn and Spa has been in the works for years, and city planners are now recommending the rural project should proceed — despite ongoing concerns from area residents.
If constructed, the development would be located on a piece of land near the corner of Unity and Battersea roads, housing a 27-suite boutique inn, 40 rental cabins, spa, gift shop, restaurant, craft brewery and craft winery.
For some, though — like David Pentney, chair of the Glenburnie Residents’ Association — the development is much too big.
“To put it in perceptive, the gross floor space of this proposed development is equivalent to or exceeds the gross floor space … commercial floor space at the Glenburnie corner which is a designed hamlet,” Pentney said.
“So it’s too large for rural residential neighbourhood.”
James Bar, the city’s senior planner, however, disagreed.
“The development itself is only going to cover 10 per cent of the lot area, and right now the lot of 13.7 hectares large,” Bar said.
“So if you think about 10 per cent, that’s only 1.37 hectares of land of potentially buildings and structures and that’s the maximum that it can actually go.”
Gary Oosterhof is the city councillor for Countryside District,. which is where the proposed development is located. He also thinks the project is too large, but the other major issue is water and what it will mean to wells in the area.
“I acknowledge that they have presented a fairly solid case of how they are going to do that,” he said, “but that’s the concern over the long haul as the droughts continue: will we be safe in our community?”
Bar, meanwhile, gave his take on wells.
“The reporting that’s come forward has been positive in that the wells for that site can support the development itself and there is a process that’s established in both the report that has been brought forward and under provincial legislation that governs concerns related to wellwater use in the area.”
The planning committee public meeting is set for Thursday.