05/29/2015 03:38 EDT | Updated 05/29/2015 03:59 EDT

'Density Creep' Alliance In Midtown Toronto Backtracks On Property Concerns

Trolleybus Urban Development

Toronto's Density Creep Neighborhood Alliance (DCNA) is backtracking after one of its members said she was concerned a midrise development would hurt her property value.

Group founder Marcia Visser apologized in a Toronto Star interview after another member, Lisa Goodwin, told the newspaper she was worried a townhouse development planned for Keewatin Avenue near Mount Pleasant would have units that cost half a million dollars.

"Right now all the houses are $1.1 million to, say, $2.2 (million) but they're looking at putting in places that are only $500,000," she said.

The comments led to a round of mockery on social media under the hashtag #DensityCreep.

But Visser told the Star the alliance's real concern is that the developers behind the townhouse project are allegedly skirting the rules.

"Developers shouldn't be allowed to throw away the rule book," she said. "It's not the neighbours who are the elitists."

The location, 200 to 214 Keewatin Avenue, is currently the site of eight single-family homes that could be demolished to make way for Sherwood Park Modern Towns, a townhouse project with 80 units.

Proponent Trolleybus Urban Development calls it the "perfect urban home for professionals and young families starting out."

The proposed height of the townhomes is 14.6 metres, but zoning laws for the neighbourhood state that homes can't be any higher than nine metres, the Star noted.

A public consultation meeting is set to take place June 2, says the DCNA's webpage.

And while Visser says property values aren't the alliance's concern, affordable housing policy analyst Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy noted in Torontoist that income segregation is happening at the same time that midrise developments are being met with backlash elsewhere in the city.

He said that lower-income people are finding themselves in places like the inner suburbs, while more affluent city residents are living in downtown and midtown areas.

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