Taller buildings could be on horizon for Galt's skyline
The former post office on Water Street in Cambridge is pictured on Friday, July 3, 2015. (Phil Molto / CTV Kitchener)
CAMBRIDGE -- Galt's skyline might look a little different in the future.
Cambridge city council passed a motion on Tuesday night to allow new guidelines on how tall buildings can be in the community.
The historic downtown is known for scenic views and church spires.
Tuesday night's motion will allow the city to begin setting new ground rules for building heights.
The new rules are the result of provincial rules on population density, along with pressure from developers.
Karen Scott Booth, representing Architectural Conservation Ontario (ACO) in Cambridge, said the city should wait for a heritage study before moving a head with a new height guideline.
"ACO Cambridge is asking that this report and this study be deferred until such time that the heritage conservation district studies, that are on the schedule be completed or at least be concurrent with the this study so heritage can actually be considered and that heritage will determine height guidelines in the downtown core,” she said.
City staff said it's important to maintain Galt's unique heritage and sight lines. While taller buildings are inevitable, Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry said council will still have final say on all projects.
"It is up to council ultimately to ensure that we are protecting our heritage, that we are protecting our view scapes, that we can still allow development in certain areas and to certain height restrictions, and how we can preserve our heritage," McGarry said.
Another reason to change the guidelines could be to show the province the city is able to grow ahead of phase two of the LRT, an 18-kilometre extension that would bring the line to Cambridge.
The ION opened in Kitchener-Waterloo last June.
Waterloo Region says if everything goes to plan, stage two will be complete in seven to eight years.