Here are our notes from the February 20th Council meeting. The Town has not posted the official minutes to their website as of yet.
GO Train Station Secondary Plan
Dorothy Bothwell appeared as a delegation to speak regarding the northeast quadrant parcel and height bonusing. In addition to the comments provided in the agenda package, she reaffirmed that the parcel within the Winston Secondary Plan following extensive public engagement, had been identified in the 2014 Waterfront Master Plan as public beach access “green” parking and should be protected as Town property. Once public lands are gone, there is no recouping them. Sharing beach access parking with high rise condominium developments (Losani) with interior on-road parking as suggested by Planning staff, will not work.
Ms. Bothwell’s second point was that the Town does not have a comprehensive Section 37 height bonusing policy. The June 2017 consultant’s report and recommendations to fix the gaps and deficiencies in the Town’s Official Plan (Section 9.4) has not been implemented. She noted that the Director of Planning had stated that “bonusing is discretionary” and that Council could “put a moratorium on bonusing”.
She also quoted the sections of the Secondary Plan where it states that the Plan complies with all regional and provincial policies and therefore, as it meets those requirements, there is no need for developers to come back and ask for “the sky is the limit” on height. She requested Council put language into the Secondary Plan that states that Section 9.4 of the Official Plan (bonusing) could not be invoked. Council members did not ask any questions on these serious considerations.
There was some further discussion by Planning staff and Council members. Some comments included:
- The pedestrian bridge would not be supported as a short-term capital project.
- The lack of capital cost estimates and how they will be paid for (a portion through regional development charges).
- Who owns the parcel in the northeast quadrant? (title is being investigated).
- Phasing policy for development/employment lands (will not be included).
- Beach parking will be provided along the roads in the Losani development.
- Casablanca environmental assessment is a priority.
- Other capital improvements in Table 12.1 are “suggestions” and subject to change.
- Region has set aside GO train infrastructure funds to help support these capital projects.
Council approved the Secondary Plan as presented by Planning staff. Next it will go to Regional Planning for approval on either April 4 or April 25, then to Regional Council for approval.
314 Main Street East – Heritage Designation
One of the co-owners of the property (Romlee Homes), Tim Herbert, spoke against the heritage designation noting that the building had undergone multiple renovations and additions. He believed they were buying a property that had a demolition permit on it and had not been told when he purchased the property that it was being considered for heritage designation. When asked if the Town would be permitted to go through the home, he replied he would be “glad to”, but that the request should go through the owners.
It was noted that the demolition permit expires in July and Mayor Bentley asked if they would wait to demolish the property until the peer review is done. Mr. Herbert paused and did not answer the question. Mayor Bentley noted that the owners of 314 Main St. E. also own the Grout-Nelles home site for development that is on the heritage registry and is currently sitting derelict through neglect. Council was not convinced that the owners of the property would respect the request for access to the property for the peer review to be completed and delay of demolition.
Council voted to approve the heritage designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
More details on the discussion can be found below:
Grimsby Heritage Advisory Committee – February 6
Resolved that the Grimsby Heritage Advisory Committee recommends the designation of 314 Main Street East under Section 29, Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act as a property of cultural heritage value and interest.
Public Works Minutes – February 14
The Public Works budget is one of the larger ones for the Town and the recent meeting on February 14 includes the proposed budget. If you are interested in where taxpayer dollars are being spent, this is a good one to review.