A long-term Carrville Road makeover
Plans for a new key development area at Yonge and 16th Avenue forge ahead
Melissa Varacalli, a Richmond Hill resident in front of Hillcrest Mall
Town of Richmond Hill planning staff has developed a draft secondary plan and is seeking comments from the public on the town’s plan that will shape the 39-hectare parcel of land around Yonge Street and Carrville Road and increase the population from around 200 to up to 14,600 people and add up to 8,500 jobs by 2031. The area was identified a site for intensification in the town’s 2010 official plan, and the first draft was introduced in 2015.
The secondary plan for the area proposes direction on character and density of retail structures, parks, transportation and future development for the intersection.
Patrick Lee, director of policy planning for the Town of Richmond Hill, said that, although there are no specific plans as of yet, the town is looking to urbanize the area through mixed-use buildings. He views the existing Hillcrest Mall as a vital community resource and expects the retail to continue to develop in the area.
“The town would like to see approximately the same amount of retail retained in the area but in a more urban format that allows for the introduction of residential uses,” said Lee.
Melissa Varacalli, a Richmond Hill resident who is moving into the Beverly Hills condo building at Yonge Street and 16th Avenue by the end of the year, sees the redevelopment as a positive change for the community. “I think it will help the younger generation build and grow their families. We’re hoping to have our own family and raise our children in this area,” she said. “It will definitely bring people from all over to come and shop and see what’s new.”
However, current homeowners in the area are wary about the changes to come. Residents along Spruce Avenue in particular take issue with the proposed townhouses that are planned for the north side of Spruce, facing the existing single-family homes lining the street.
“Right now, we’ve been happy living here for 30 years in our very quiet, exclusive neighbourhood,” said Ron Widya, a resident of Spruce Avenue. “The population increase is something that we cannot control, but it will affect the development of my neighbourhood. When the townhomes are developed, my property value drops. Automatically. ”
After a 30-day public comment period, the planning team will revise its plans and recommend Richmond Hill Town Council approval by September.