And .. is there allowance for local energy production? How will developer offset emissions created during building? Will there be 40cm topsoil provided for homeowners, specified in Elmira Green Infrastructure Plan? What sustainability questions did Council and Staff address.— Sandra Bray (@sandbray) November 2, 2018
Below is a detailed response to the above tweet answered by Township of Woolwich Manager of Planning, John Scarfone.
I believe that Staff Report E54-2018 (Southwood 4), which the Committee of the Whole based their decision in supporting Southwood 4 last week, addressed issues related to sustainability both from a macro and site-specific manner as highlighted by the following:
Southwood 4 is contributing to Elmira being a complete and sustainable community (and not a bedroom community to the cities) where one can choose to live, shop, work and spend leisure time thereby becoming less dependent on the automobile.
Southwood 4 is developing at a dense and compact built form, consuming less farmland and maximizing the use of existing services/infrastructure. This ‘slow down’ of urban sprawl in Elmira is also due to the Township’s staging policies that are unique to this region, by providing a moderate annual rate of growth for Elmira.
Southwood 4, as well as the previous subdivisions completed by Birdland, has protected the abutting significant woodlot feature, approximately 12 ha in size, by ensuring that development does encroach into it and by conveying this open space area to the Township for public stewardship. In addition, the existing hedgerow along Whippoorwill will require a tree-preservation plan as a further protection measure. This woodlot and hedgerow forms part of Elmira overall tree canopy that the Township is committed to maintaining and increasing through various green initiatives.
Birdland will also be dedicating the drainage tributary, its associated floodplain area and the community trail to further add, in addition to the woodlot, to the open space area that surrounds the development.
The stormwater management scheme ensures that sufficient baseflow will be maintained for the woodlot and its associated wetland feature with the installation of a swale/catch-basin system within the buffer area of the woodlot.
The Township will require Birdland to investigate other low impact development techniques to assist in sustaining a groundwater balance throughout the development. These techniques, such as bio-swales, infiltration galleries and pervious pavements, promote infiltration to recharge the groundwater.
A central stormwater management pond will be expanded and appropriately vegetated to accommodate storm flows from the entire neighbourhood for quality and quantity control. This facility will serve as the first line of defence for capturing sediments/contaminants from the subdivision before the storm flows outlets into the tributary.
The development will have to implement appropriate erosion and siltation control measures.
Birdland will be undertaking ongoing monitoring of its groundwater to ensure that the development will not impact neighbouring wells or the baseflow into the woodlot.
Southwood 4 draft plan conditions require streetlights to be LED lighting which is rated as dark sky compliance.
Southwood 4 design promotes walkability/safe pedestrian movement and active transportation with the installation of sidewalks on both sides of streets and along Listowel Road/Whippoorwill Drive, as well as the development of the community trail along the tributary and the expansion of the trail network within the woodlot.
Southwood 4 draft plan conditions will require extensive tree plantings and other landscape measures within the streetscape, active parks, passive open areas, stormwater management facility, community trail next to the tributary and the buffer areas between the residential lots and woodlot. As noted in the Southwood 4 Report, the Township is currently reviewing its design standards for landscaping, tree planting and top-soil material for site plan and subdivision approval in response to Council’s support of the Elmira Green Infrastructure Report in September. Staff is expected to provide details to Council on this review in December. Southwood 4 will be subject to these new standards if they are approved prior to the Township finalizing Birdland’s subdivision agreement and engineering design.
I am not sure the meaning of local energy production in the context of Southwood 4 unless it is related to buildings with solar roofs. The Province’s micro fit program provides incentives for a solar installation on dwelling roofs. Also, I am not aware of planning and building mechanisms to control emissions of vehicles/equipment during the development of the subdivision.
Finally, the Township has added Official Plan policies related to Sustainable/Green Building and Urban Design/Architectural Control (attached) for Breslau when Council approved the Breslau Settlement Plan a few years ago. As part of the Scoped Official Plan conformity exercise to be completed in 2019, these policies, which may be further enhanced, are proposed to apply to our other communities in Woolwich such as Elmira. However, I do want to emphasize that any enhancement of these Sustainable/Green Initiative policies, as well as the adoption of any regulatory measures, must be balanced and have due consideration with other competing issues after appropriate consultation with the community that includes the development industry.
I hope the above information helps clarify matters related to Southwood 4 in response to your twitter message.
John Scarfone, M.C.I.P, R.P.P
Manager of Planning
Engineering & Planning Services
Township of Woolwich