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New Fremlin subdivision will wrap around St. Mary's College (4 images)

New homes won't be required to meet city's affordable housing requirements

Twenty-one years ago, part of Carlo China's eight-hectare property on the south side of Old Garden River Road was expected to become part of the new Sault Area Hospital.

Ten years ago, another part of the same property was zoned to become part of the new St. Mary's College.

Neither of those plans materialized, but developer Daniel Fremlin got a green light this week from City Council to build a 69-unit residential subdivision on the combined lots just northeast of Second Line East.

City councillors agreed on Monday to rezone the property to allow Fremlin's project to proceed.

They waived the city's special affordability requirements, which state that a minimum of 30 per cent of units in all developments larger than 50 housing units be affordable.

"The proposed dwellings will be in the ownership market and the applicant anticipates that semi-detached units will be marketed in the $500,000 range and the price of singles will range from $450,000 to $600,000," said Peter Tonazzo, senior city planner.

Tonazzo says the provincially defined affordable sale price for dwellings in Sault Ste. Marie is $206,193.

That, he says, is 10 per cent below the average resale price of $229,103.

"The 2018 median resale house price was $208,928, and according to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, about 51 per cent of all homes for purchase in Sault Ste. Marie are considered to be affordable."

"Although the provincial policy statement and the current OP [official plan] do not communicate a specific affordability target, 30 per cent is widely utilized and will be proposed in the new OP as an appropriate local affordability target," Tonazzo said in a report to Mayor Provenzano and city councillors.

"With this in mind, from a home ownership standpoint, Sault Ste. Marie is relatively affordable."

"It is also important to recognize that most affordable homes for purchase do not consist of brand new, greenfield builds, rather, affordably priced homes generally come from the resale market."

"From a home ownership standpoint, it is not feasible to expect a ‘new build’ subdivision to provide at least 30 per cent of all dwelling units to be sold at an affordable price, without significant subsidies," Tonazzo said.

New new subdivision will be named after developer Daniel Fremlin’s son Jack Roderick, with a memorial park dedicated to Daniel's late father Roderick Fremlin, a city firefighter and builder who died in September 2018 from mesothelioma.

The semi-detached dwellings west of Smyl Boulevard will be built first, with the single-detached units to follow later.

The project will include a 0.179-hectare park providing close access to the Hub Trail.

The new subdivision will be within walking distance of:

  • Strathclair Park (100 metres)
  • Strathclair Dog Park (150 metres)
  • St. Mary’s College (100 metres)
  • Windsor Farms Park (750 metres)
  • Eric Nystedt Park (200 metres)
  • Tarentorus Publc School (250 metres)
  • Sault Minor Baseball (350 metres)
  • Sault College (800 metres)