It was the first P&D meeting of the year and much like our devotion to our New Year’s resolutions, the Agenda was light.

You can view the full Agenda here:,773,89907&preview=89908

27 John Street Zoning Amendment – Brite Developments

Chair DiFlavio expressed surprise that there were no residents attending this Open House, considering the chambers were full for the previous development at 39 Robinson Street.  Notices were apparently mailed as per the Act to those who had attended the previous meeting and signed up for notifications, or were within the required 120 metres of the site.

Following the presentations by the developer and Town Planner, he raised concerns that residents of similar townhouse developments are converting or using their garage for purposes other than parking (amenity space, storage) and that the Town needs to review its policies to see if anything can be done to enforce that garages be dedicated for vehicle parking only.

As well, he noted that Committee members had not received the presentations in advance of the meeting as he has requested a number of times previously, and that “needs to stop”.   He said that all presentations by Planning staff or delegations should be submitted to the Committee with the agenda in advance of the meeting so they have an opportunity to review and prepare.

This zoning amendment is to change the property at 27 John St (Brite Developments Inc) from Neighbourhood Development (ND) to Residential Multiple 1 with site specific exceptions (RM1).  Currently the site is approved for 40 stacked townhomes, in three buildings, each three storeys in height.

The developer and architect presented an amended plan to the Committee.  Changes included removing the lay-by parking to accommodate regional waste collection, increasing the height to 13m from 12.5m, shifting the development to the north, removing the laneway between buildings and creating 9 tandem parking spots.

The parking requirement is 1.5 spaces per townhouse unit.  After allocating the 63 available parking spaces (29 in garages, 9 dedicated tandem, 11 for the remaining units without garages) 14 spaces remain, equating to 0.35 spaces per unit recommended in the report for shared visitor parking (0.45 was noted as an error in the report).   Two of the 14 spaces are accessible spaces.

The developer suggested that the residents will require more dedicated spaces as most units will have two to three cars (unit sizes range up to 3 bedroom and 1,600ft2).  He was concerned that by not assigning them, they would be used by residents anyway and create enforcement issues.  He proposed a number of scenarios to attach and sell the majority of the remaining parking spaces to the units (registered on title), leaving 4 for visitors (2 accessible – 2 regular).

Committee members discussed shared visitor parking at length and were concerned that adequate visitor parking be provided on site as lay-by on Robinson St was removed, resulting in pressures for on-street parking by adjoining developments and neighbours.  Although street parking is proposed on one side of Robinson, it may be limited by the location of driveways and fire hydrants and would have to be restricted (by signage) on garbage pick-up days.

The definition of “shared visitor parking” was also discussed at length with the interpretation from Planning staff being that the 14 spaces would be for the use of both the residents and visitors.  The committee voted to approve the zoning amendment with the correction to read “minimum shared visitor parking – 0.35 per unit”.

New Business

Member Agnew raised the concern that lay members of the Committee had not received the OMB appeal decision although the remainder of the Committee had, as well as Council. The Chair noted that normally those decisions would come to Planning first, then Council, but for some reason this one was routed differently.

The Director of Planning took responsibility for not sharing the information with lay members and apologized.

Update on OMB Appeal Decision – 560 North Service Road (LJM Waterview – Phase II)

Following the Planning Committee meeting on January 9th, the Town’s Director of Planning and Senior Planner, in the presence of the Chair, approached a sole member of our group to raise their concern with the language used and information provided in our previous post regarding the OMB appeal decision.

They felt strongly that one of the statements made was not accurate and should be corrected.  After review, we decided to remove the statement and provide an update with clarification on our interpretation as below:

The Director of Planning states in the December 13, 2016 planning report:

“Staff  has  calculated  the  performance  of  the  lands  within  the  greenfield  designation. The analysis concludes  that development  within the non-employment areas have been significantly underperforming. So much so that it is not very likely that the target will be achieved unless the employment  area almost  doubles its assumed  rate of 25 jobs per hectare. The development of this site has had a significant positive impact on assisting in the effort to achieve the target of 50 people and jobs per hectare for the designated greenfield area.”

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2006) establishes the greenfield density target for upper-tier municipalities (Niagara Region is an upper-tier municipality) at 50 people & jobs/ha combined.

The document provided by the Town to the Region confirming Grimsby’s greenfield density projections up to January 2017 states the gross density (people and jobs/ha) at 48.7.  An error in this report was identified at the OMB hearing and the Town’s Planner confirmed it was not correct.

After adjusting for the error, the new gross density totals 49.17. This is not “significantly underperforming”.  As well, the greenfield density of 50 p/j/ha is calculated across the entire Region’s defined greenfield area (all municipalities) for reporting to the Minister.

The GPGGH states that:

“Municipalities will develop and implement official plan policies, including phasing policies, and other strategies, for designated greenfield areas to achieve the intensification target and density targets of this Plan.”

The Region passed an Official Plan Amendment (ROPA 8-2013) as per the Growth Plan, establishing the phased greenfield density target for Grimsby at 390 units (total between 2011 – 2031). The Region confirmed in an email that this OPA is relevant and applicable and that Grimsby has exceeded the greenfield density target of 390 units. In fact, we will significantly exceed it.

We are always open to your comments and suggestions, so feel free to email or message us on Facebook if you have any questions.