Housing demand driving rapid growth in Richmond
By Jeff Morris
“Somehow, Richmond has become unaffordable,” Ward 21 Councillor Scott Moffatt said during his Munster virtual town hall meeting held Mon., April 26.
Moffatt’s meeting was the first of four to be held in the ward. The meeting was a Munster Town Hall, held by Zoom. He is hosting online town halls for Manotick (May 6), North Gower (May 10), and Richmond (May 18).
The topic of growth in Ward 21’s villages was discussed, when Moffatt talked about the explosive housing market in Richmond.
Moffatt hosted a public meeting on Richmond development a couple of weeks ago and talked about how the prices of many homes in the community have nearly doubled in a little over a year.
“On that very day the most affordable house in Richmond was $850,000,” Moffatt said. “There were only two houses for sale that day. One was $850,000 and that was in Caivan’s development – a brand new house with a small lot. The second house was on Fowler for $950,000. It’s unaffordable.”
Moffatt said that because of the demand for homes in Richmond, growth in the village may happen more quickly than the city initially projected.
“The growth that comes in the form of (townhouses) and what not, it’s coming,” Moffatt said. “The demand is there.”
Last month, Moffatt hosted a community information session on the application by Caivan for their most recent development in the Western Development Lands. That is the area west of the Richmond BMR, adjacent to Richmond Oaks, along the Van Gaal Municipal Drain and the piece of land bordered by Queen Charlotte Drive and Ottawa Street.
“Since the application was first presented, changes have been made as a direct result of community input,” Moffatt stated in a column on his website. “Lot sizes have been adjusted backing on to existing homes on Bald Eagle Crescent, Queen Charlotte and Ottawa Street. The access that was proposed onto Mira Court has also been removed and Mira Court will only see house directly onto it. Those homes will be more consistent than previously proposed. Caivan has also committed to equal the design of the Mira Court homes.”
With rapid growth come transportation issues. Meynell Drive, which is the road that goes into the Fox Run development across Perth Street from the BMR, will be the main artery for traffic flow. Meynell will feature two roundabouts, including at Perth Street whereas Fortune Street is about to be marked as a 40km/h road coinciding with the flex stakes that will be reinstalled this spring. Every effort will be made to reduce the impact on Fortune Street and prevent it from being a primary access to Perth Street.
“We will also look at construction impacts,” stated Moffatt. “For instance, I do not support Burke Street being the construction access for the south development. We must address this and Caivan will need to coordinate with Mattamy regarding access for construction and for residential traffic as well to avoid Burke Street being the only access.”
Caivan is proposing to develop a 554-unit residential subdivision, in a mix of detached and townhouse units. A new municipal park is proposed as part of the subdivision.
Moffatt’s virtual town hall meeting for Richmond will take place May 18.