Following our recent post on the proposed Century Condos development by DeSantis in downtown Grimsby, we received an email from Mr. John Ariens, Associate Director and Planner with IBI group on behalf of the developer, requesting that we share it with the community.
Mr. Ariens wrote:
“Homes by DeSantis has been my client for over 30 years and we are about to embark on a new project in Downtown Grimsby known as Century Condos. My preference was to name the project the “Roxy” after the former theatre but Century was chosen as this project will hopefully be ready for occupancy as Grimsby celebrates its centennial as a Town (1922).
Century represents an assembly of several parcels between Doran and Main Street . This assembly allows us to create a unique infilling project specifically designed to reflect the historic character of Downtown. A 2 storey podium has been architecturally designed to reflect the heritage storefront of a typical downtown village . The ground floor will be commercial having a floor space of approximately 527 sqm.
The 2nd floor will be residential and on top of this 2 storey podium we are proposing another 6 floors of residential for a total compliment of 86 units within a building having only 8 floors. The upper 6 floors will be stepped back to emphasize the podium and enhance the pedestrian scale along Main St. Underground and surface parking is being provided including a total of 124 vehicle parking spaces and 38 bicycle spaces.
We are very excited as this represents the first new major infilling/intensification project in the Downtown. Accordingly we have scheduled our own sponsored open house to present this plan to the public.
This meeting is being scheduled for March 1st in the Carnegie building between 6:30 and 9pm with a formal presentation starting at 7pm followed by a Q&A session.”
Mr. Ariens was kind enough to provide us with his contact information, should any members of the community have planning related questions or comments on this development. We can provide this information upon request.
Responsible growth and revitalization of the downtown are critical to the health and sustainability of our community. The Official Plan and Community Improvement Plan set the policies and framework for the downtown vision.
It is important to note that nothing has been brought forward to the Planning Committee as of yet. Interestingly, “the 6 Doran development” (as per below) is on the Heritage Committee agenda for Feb 6th.
This development will encompass a number of properties on Main Street East as well as Doran Avenue. The Official Plan sets a maximum height of 4 storeys for this site within the Main Street – Downtown designation. The developer proposes to request “height bonusing” to permit 8 storeys (double the height maximum) in exchange for “community benefits” negotiated with the Town.
Continuing with our “Planning 101”, you might be asking “What is height bonusing”?
Section 9.4 of the Grimsby Official Plan states:
9.4 HEIGHT AND DENSITY BONUS PROVISIONS
9.4.1 Pursuant to Section 37 of the Planning Act, 1990, as amended from time to time, Council may in a Zoning By-law authorize increases in height and density of development, otherwise permitted by the by-law that will be permitted in return for the provision of such facilities, services or other matters as are set out in the zoning by-law.
9.4.2 The municipality’s objectives in authorizing such increases in height or density are:
- a) To ensure the provision of underground or in-building parking for apartment type or mixed use development;
- b) To encourage the provision of rental housing;
- c) To encourage the provision of affordable housing;
- d) To encourage the provision of mixed-use developments; and
- e) To encourage the preservation of buildings or structures of historical or architectural merit.
9.4.3 The Zoning By-law will establish detailed development standards that would apply when a bonus is awarded and the relationship between these standards and the conditions, which must be met if the bonus standards are to apply.
9.4.4 The municipality may also require the owner to enter into one or more agreements with the municipality dealing with the facilities, services or other matters to be provided.
9.4.5 The maximum residential density and height permitted through the bonus provision may exceed that which is permitted in the general Official Plan policies provided it meets the general intent of the Official Plan and other area specific policies with regard to the parameters of the density bonusing. However, no residential development may be granted bonus density in excess of 20% beyond the maximum density provided in the parent zoning bylaw.
Our current Council has recently approved “height bonusing” for LJM Waterview Phase II at 15 storeys where 6 storeys is permitted and the Rosebay (Planet Nite Club) site on Windward at 18 and 16 storeys where 12 is the maximum.
The final decision to approve additional height above the maximum permitted rests with Council. Council is accountable to the community. There will be an Open House and statutory Public Meeting for the Official Plan Amendment required for this development and we will post these dates when they are provided by the Town.
The March 1st meeting held by the developer regarding this downtown project is not part of the formal process required under the Planning Act, but is an early opportunity for you to hear what is being proposed and ask questions of the developer.
We will be reviewing the details of this proposal closely and update you as more details become available.
We appreciate your comments and encourage you to respectfully share your thoughts.