Objections over Morrisburg Dutch Meadows subdivision

Shannon Stanton of Steward Drive in Morrisburg expresses her concerns to South Dundas council and the United Counties of SD&G during a public meeting Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 on the Dutch Meadows subdivision. Homeowners along Steward Drive are concerned about traffic. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

MORRISBURG – Residents living near the proposed Dutch Meadows subdivision in Morrisburg are concerned about traffic through their upscale neighbourhood.

They registered their objections last week during a 45-minute public meeting by the United Counties of SD&G and the Municipality of South Dundas on the 84-lot development, west of Steward Drive, which will be rolled out in four stages.

Swank Construction of Iroquois is building the subdivision over the next 15-20 years.

Ron Wilson, who has lived on Coyle Drive for eight years, is concerned the municipality and county is putting houses on agricultural land. But South Dundas Planner Don Lewis said the area was added to the urban settlement area in 2015.

Other residents, mostly from Steward Boulevard, are concerned traffic will exit on their street during the early phases of the development before a road (Dutch Meadows Drive) is pushed through to County Road 2.

“I would question why a subdivision that is self-contained must lead on to a residential street with no sidewalks (with a) high number of pedestrians,” resident Susan Wells asked. “When we did buy properties 30 years ago, they were considered premium. They were high priced. We had convenance on our street. No doubles. Must be built on the right of way. They could not remain empty and a certain square footage as well.”

County officials said a traffic study has been completed and accepted, but connection of subdivisions falls with the municipality. “Just based on our experience with subdivisions they do like to have some interconnections between subdivisions,” said Ben de Haan, SD&G’s director of planning.

“All that traffic through there doesn’t seem logical,” Wells countered.

The first phase of development will see seven semi-detached units, 22 single family homes and three condo units. Once the second phase is under construction, Dutch Meadows Drive will be connected to County Road 2. County officials tried to comfort residents saying construction traffic will not be permitted on Steward Drive.

But the mere thought of more cars and trucks in the area, even for a while, didn’t sit well with homeowners.

“I don’t think that’s fair to people on Steward Drive. We moved from the city to get away from the urban sprawl,” Steward Drive resident Shannon Stanton added. “Why can’t you have two accesses from County Road 2?” she asked. “There are no sidewalks. It’s dangerous.”

Another resident on Morningside Court was concerned there was not enough green space between the development and Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Coun. Marc St. Pierre said the meeting brought a couple of good ideas, such as a walkway between Dutch Meadows and Steward Park, considering the subdivision doesn’t have a park. He would also like to see a tree buffer between the development and Steward Drive.

The comments will be included in a report to the United Counties of SD&G council, which is the approval authority on subdivisions in the county.