Development planned for former ALR property in Murrayville

At least one local is upset about the project and its density.

A Murrayville man is concerned about plans to build a housing development on a forested lot taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

In 2015, Sandhill Development successfully applied to the Agricultural Land Commission to remove a 3.6 acre lot south of James Hill Elementary from the ALR for development.

The heavily forested lot is bounded by a walking trail to the north, and used to be a spot where kids played and people walked their dogs, until No Trespassing signs went up, said Ryan Kostyshin.

He’s concerned about the density of the new development, which Sandhill initially proposed to hold 22 single family lots.

The majority of those lots would be smaller than the average for the neighbourhood, at around 4,000 square feet.

Although it has been in the ALR for decades, the land is covered in dense second-growth forest, and the Township has designated it for urban uses.

In a 2015 report on the ALR exclusion application, staff supported the referral of the plan to the ALC and noted that the exclusion of the site was consistent with the Murrayville Community Plan.

Kostyshin said that many people had moved to Murrayville and paid a significant amount of money to live in a lower-density neighbourhood.

He plans to form a Murrayville Residents Association and has been speaking to his neighbours about the development.

The project has not yet gone to council for a rezoning or development permit hearing.

If the project is built, it will also result in an extension of 44th Avenue from 221A Street to 222nd, which also concerns some residents, said Kostyshin. They’re worried about traffic running through the area, and about cars turning on the curved stretch of road to the east.