This week, crews will begin preparing a Gordon Street property for a six-story, 160-unit condominium building known as “Solstice”. An environmental review recommends removing hundreds of trees before migratory birds begin nesting in the area this spring.
The property is located near the Hanlon Creek Conservation Area and a Provincially Significant Wetland. Following a complete public planning process, the property at 1291 Gordon Street was zoned for development in 2010. Since then, HIP Developments has worked with City staff to ensure the project meets City policies regarding urban design and environmental protection, and minimizes ecological impacts during and after construction.
“With any development project we take great care to protect sensitive ecological areas, and this project is no exception,” said senior development planner, Katie Nasswetter.
HIP Developments has completed an Environmental Implementation Report that meets City planning policies, and satisfies Guelph’s Environmental Advisory Committee.
The Solstice development site is at least 30 metres from the wetland boundary and the building itself will be 37 metres from the wetland.
The building will be raised to ensure groundwater is not impacted as a result of the development. The project also includes significant measures to manage stormwater runoff, prevent erosion and diffuse drainage into the wetland.
To prepare the site for construction, 919 trees, most of which are non-native Scot’s (Scotch) Pine will be removed immediately. When the project is complete, the developer will compensate for the 5,100 m2 tree canopy area using more than 900 native trees and shrubs. Some will be planted in a 3,543 m2 naturalization area and others in stormwater management and landscaped areas. When trees in the landscaped and stormwater management areas reach 75 per cent maturity, the total potential canopy cover on site is estimated at 7,000 m2.
The developer has also committed to an invasive species management plan on the property targeting Buckthorn species, and ecological monitoring for at least three years.