Public Meeting – Phelps Legacy – 211, 229 & 265 Central Avenue

Great public turn out for this meeting!

Looping the interior dead-ends
This came up at the Open House as well and Phelps was not receptive to changing the site plan to remove 6-8 units to loop the inside roadways to accommodate fire and regional waste access. Dead-ends meet the minimum required by the Fire Department but only if each residential unit is installed with a sprinkler system. Phelps planner was taken off guard by this condition and thought everything had been addressed.

Waste pickup will have to be provided by private contractor. In a move to try to gain regional acceptance, Phelps has drafted in large concrete pads at the end of unit rows (their side yard), abutting the interior north sidewalk, to accommodate garbage for 14 units on each pad. The Region has indicated that waste collection pads are not desirable. Imagine blue/green/grey boxes and piles of garbage for 14 units on each pad (5-6 pads). Planning staff are wary of this as other condo developments have argued for regional waste pickup after the development is completed (they don’t want to pay for it in their condo fees). If the interior roads were looped, this wouldn’t be an issue.

Although some places have been designated for snow storage (there are very limited places to store it onsite), private contractors may be challenged to access the dead-end roads. It can’t be plowed into the southerly stormwater easement or the northerly CN property. It would be nice to see these issues addressed now, rather than leaving them for the condominium corporation to deal with.

Marlow/Central Ave Reconstruction & Sidewalks
Members of the public were concerned with construction traffic and impact on these narrow tar and chip roads. Safety issues were raised with pedestrian walkthroughs with no sidewalks and on-street parking. A traffic impact study noted that Marlow/Central could handle the increase in traffic from the development. A member of the public noted that Baker is a two-way stop, adjacent to a park and that traffic may pose safety concerns. Alderman DiFlavio commented that Baker is a very low volume road and no issues were raised in the traffic study. The developer is responsible for constructing a sidewalk from the development entrance on the north side of Central Avenue westerly, to connect the internal sidewalk to Baker Road. Public Works has plans for the reconstruction of Marlow and Central Ave in the future, but not in conjunction with this development. Alderman Berry noted that sidewalks and speed control will also be considered at an upcoming Public Works meeting.

Access to Backyards
The original site plan provided interior units with rear yard access. This has since been removed with the comment that all landscaping will be maintained by the condo corp. Since all lawn maintenance will be included, that will probably mean no back yard/side yard fences permitted so that the condo board can freely access everyone’s property. Planning staff state that they will deal with this in more detail at the site plan stage. Where will Fido go…?

Grading/Easements/Buffering – Central Ave Backyards
There are significant concerns regarding grading, stormwater management, easements (south side) and the landscape strip buffering at the back yards of Central Ave residences. In the report it is noted that extensive grading may have the effect of nullifying any buffering and overlook issues may still be present. Providing an adequate width (5-6m) for the stormwater buffer/swale/grade and designating it as common element was raised to ensure access for maintenance. Phelps planner noted there was no need to separately designate as the condo corp would have full access for maintenance. Width of the buffer strip is to be addressed at site plan stage and Phelps planner noted there no plans to reduce the size of the landscape strip (although potentially looping the interior roads will impact this area).

Site Contamination
There is residual site contamination (pesticides, chemicals, metals) from the previous greenhouse operation and the developer proposes to move the contaminated topsoil into a new noise berm being constructed abutting the CN railway. All soils and fill materials deposited on site must be tested and all soils failing chemical testing (MOE limits) have to be removed and disposed of properly.

Butternut Trees
Butternut is an endangered species. NPCA and MNRF approved removal of the 5 trees found onsite with “offsetting” conditions. 35 Butternut seedlings and 35 companion trees were planted in Smithville where they will need to be monitored and tended to weekly in the first year with ongoing monitoring requirements as per the ESA.

Canada Post
Interesting that the site plan shows a Canada Post Super Box on the corner of the new Marlow extension abutting Block B, yet the comments from Canada Post state that the proposed development will receive door-to-door service.

Because the whole issue of fire access and sprinklers, waste pickup and snow removal, and designation of common element lands are dependent upon the site plan layout, Planning members were hesitant to approve the zoning/draft plan of condominium until the critical issue of looping the interior roads was addressed (resulting in removal of # of units and impact to grading/easements/buffering of abutting Central Ave properties). Planning members referred the report back to Planning staff to discuss with the developer (again) and recommend looping the interior roads as well as installing sprinklers in all units. The actual wording of the motion will be posted in the minutes.

Tarbutt – 364-368 Park Road North

This development has evolved to two detached buildings (on Park Rd N) and 16 semi-detached interior buildings. It’s not just a perception that the density proposed is overdevelopment … it exceeds the Official Plan Low Density maximum of 25 units/net residential ha. The site is 0.6291 ha with 18 units, exceeding the OP density by 3 units. To move forward, Planning staff and the developer propose to separate the development in to two phases, Phase 1 with 13 units and Phase 2 with the remaining 5. Approval of Phase 1 now would clearly benefit the developer and allow development to start while concurrently filing an OP amendment for approval of the increased density which, if approved, would permit Phase 2 to proceed. Member Finch was concerned that staff were aware this development exceeds the OP and it should have been brought forward initially as an OP amendment requesting the increased density (a “little fishy”).

16 visitor parking spaces (in the MTO setback) have been provided which are not a requirement of the OP and staff feel onsite parking is adequate. The site has been redesigned to accommodate regional waste pickup. Privacy/acoustic fence height bordering the development will be 3 metres. One of the zoning amendments is to reduce the exterior side yard setback to 1 metre (3.28 feet). So… there will be very little wiggle room between semi-detached buildings (or the detached on Park Rd and the semi-detached unit behind/beside it)… and two neighbours trying to get into their back yard at the same time may be tricky …

There are some significant stormwater and lot grading issues that will need to be addressed. The current report showing the 5 yr and 100 yr events pre and post-development show that the post-development flows are higher than pre-development. Additional reports have been requested to ensure that quantity control design for the site demonstrates that post-development flows do not exceed pre-development flows for all return periods (5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 yrs).

Concern for the safety of pedestrians along Park to Grand Ave was raised. Alderman Berry noted that an upcoming Public Works meeting will discuss potential sidewalks and speed reduction zones.

The exterior design compatibility of the units with the Grimsby Beach neighbourhood was raised by a member of the public. This had also been noted as a “like to have” by the Director of Planning at the recent Open House. The report notes that certain design elements (porches, variety of building materials, no garages facing Park Rd N) have been incorporated that satisfy the requirements.

The motion was put forward to approve the draft plan of subdivision, zoning by-law amendment and draft plan of condominium with the condition that the total # of units be reduced to 15. The developer will have to come back with a new site plan showing how the 15 units will meet the zoning by-laws, etc.

AquaBlu Office Building – 13 Windward Drive

The site plan amendment provides approval for the increase in height from 3 to 5 stories and incorporates pedestrian and vehicular accesses between AquaZul and the office building. As well, the AquaZul site plan approval will address the agreed upon shared parking arrangement. There is a holding provision on AquaZul that the west wing (10 storey) phase cannot be constructed until the 5 storey office building is framed. In addition, Appendix A of this report prohibits occupancy of the office building until the required parking is provided on the AquaZul site.

Heritage Register – 103 Mountain Road, St. Mary’s Dormition Ukrainian Church

In the absence of a Heritage Committee (still waiting for the “replacement” committee to be struck), and a concern from a member of the public, Planning staff brought forward a recommendation to put St. Mary’s Dormition Ukrainian Church on the Heritage Register which would delay any potential demolition of a registered building by 60 days. Back in 2008, the Diocese objected to being put on the register and the property was referred back to the Heritage Advisory Committee for consideration. The church closed and was vacant for a time in 2010 before being acquired/leased by the Grimsby Air Cadets who currently occupy the building. Town staff recommended further consultation with the owner concerning inclusion on the Register. Member Finch questioned approving it without the owner’s consent. Alderman DiFlavio stated that it was not required to seek approval. Members of the committee voted to add it to the Register. This resolution will be brought to Council for final approval.

New Business

Member Agnew noted that there is significant flooding in the Foran’s Marina area and that the site of the future development there is currently threatened by the water levels. Alderman DiFlavio stated that the NPCA is the approval authority for these development concerns. Public Works will also be made aware.


The public is welcome to attend any Planning & Development Committee meeting to continue to monitor the progression of these new developments through the site plan approval stage where many changes will continue to be made.  Agendas are published on the Town website the Friday before the meeting.