Hundreds sign petition opposing massive warehouse in Cambridge
KITCHENER -- A petition against a proposed 1-million-square-foot warehouse in the Blair neighbourhood in Cambridge is gaining traction, with hundreds of signatures.
As of Thursday afternoon, the online petition had been signed by over 1,000 people, and residents have sent a letter to the city asking officials to strongly reconsider the development.
This comes after city council voted unanimously to endorse the approval of a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to build the distribution centre at the corner of Old Mill and Dickie Settlement Roads.
"The single biggest concern is the impact of traffic," resident Alan van Norman said.
A letter to council provided a list of possible solutions that includes cancelling the development.
"I hope it will make the city reconsider its position of support for this highly secretive process and I hope they will take our concerns seriously," he said.
In the letter from residents, some of the concerns include traffic, noise, light pollution, environmental and heritage. It is followed by a list of possible solutions, including cancelling the project altogether.
“Naturally all of our concerns are mitigated if the project is cancelled or otherwise denied .The residents of Blair feel that they have been the victims of a bait and switch scheme by the city,” the letter reads in part. “For some city councillors to claim that the residents of Blair knew that this was coming is a gross exaggeration of fact.”
Residents said they’re upset council endorsed a MZO, adding that public consultations should have been held before council's approval. Public consultations were held in 2015 to shift the zoning to industrial, but nothing since.
"It was identified as industrial land with 14 industrial lots, and the developer has come forward and says he wants all 14 and he's proposing one large development," said Deputy Mayor Mike Mann.
The MZO speeds up the process, but council said there will still be environmental, heritage and traffic studies before the project receives final approval.
According to the developer, Broccolini, the warehouse will pump $150 million in investments into Cambridge, bring about 100 transport trucks through the area every day and employ up to 1,400 people.
Details on what the warehouse will be used for have not been released, but Broccolini has built dozens of Amazon fulfillment centres.
With reporting by CTV News Kitchener's Stephanie Villella