We hope to see you all at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 27th at the Planning & Development Committee Open House for the proposed Century Condos development (21, 23 Main Street East and 6 Doran Ave) in the Downtown – Main Street area. Come early to get a seat! The agenda for the meeting and details of the proposal can be found here:
March 20th Planning & Development Committee
A big THANK YOU! to everyone who made the effort to come out to the two Planning & Development Committee Open Houses held at Town Hall on Tuesday, March 20th. The Council Chambers were overflowing with standing room only in the foyer.
Open House – 4 Windward Drive
The first, for 4 Windward Drive (Casablanca Winery Inn), started with the developer’s presentation seeking amendments to the town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law, which only allows for buildings up to 12 storeys in height. The land is currently zoned for mixed-use development and the developer seeks a change in designation to mixed high-use density to permit two towers, 22 and 19 storeys each. The first 5 floors above ground would be an open air parking garage (think of Toronto Pearson Airport).
Chair DiFlavio stated some initial meeting ground rules, noting that not everyone is comfortable speaking and “don’t make people uncomfortable – – some may express an opinion that is different than yours”, and “please be civil with one another”. Speeches were passionate yet mostly controlled, expressing strong displeasure with the proposal.
The developer’s architect Dave Moore, and Weston Consulting representative, Martin Quarcoopome, presented. Below is a capture of some of their comments about the proposal:
- 206 units – 136 in the 22 storey and 70 in the 19 storey
- 496 parking spaces – “the parking is a bit convoluted”
- 200 or so of the parking spaces are replacing the 100 they are taking out that currently exist, and another 100 are to replace those needed for the hotel’s growth on the west edge of the property
- It’s inspired by the Marilyn Monroe towers in Mississauga, organic nature of the curves, water, waves, lake
- The first 5 floors above ground will be an open air parking garage and it’s their “first go at this” which they “hope to be successful”
- The 22 storey tower sits on a 750m2 footprint with 8 units per floor (136 units)
- The 19 storey tower sits on a 500m2 footprint with 5 units per floor (70 units)
Below is a capture of some of the key concerns presented by the public:
- Organic shaped building? It will be a wall of glass.
- Landmarks are the lake and escarpment.
- How much greenspace is being provided?
- Is another firehall planned for the area? Can they meet the demand and services with the building height?
- What’s the demographic expected to live here?
- Deficient parking – 1 space/48m2 for restaurant/retail, should be 1 space/28m2.
- Bylaw enforcement – non-existent now, will be much worse.
- How much more height is it than the 20% Section 37 bonusing?
- Winston Road is two lanes and won’t be able to handle the amount of traffic.
- Ambulance and fire response will be challenging.
- No transit, forcing people to bring their cars and they won’t give them up.
- Infrastructure can’t handle it.
- On and off ramps on the QEW Casablanca overpass are already a nightmare.
- This isn’t Mississauga, doesn’t fit with the development already approved.
- Grimsby is supposed to be taking care of our people – our people can’t afford them.
- It’s the wrong esthetic, inappropriate for the area.
- Just wait until the Fifth Wheel property is developed – congestion.
- No employee parking being considered or provided.
- Where will snow be piled?
- Was the architect given the job to draw a 12 storey? Who proposed it be above?
- Rosehaven/Rosebay development (18 and 14 storeys) P&D meeting a year ago, they stated that Planning staff told them to go higher.
- Were there any character studies done to ensure compatibility?
- The character of this building leaves a lot to be desired.
- Artificial demand will be created as a result of all the “flipping” and prices will go up.
- Our kids will be priced out of the Grimsby market.
Committee member discussion:
- It’s overwhelming and doesn’t fit the character.
- Lack of affordable housing.
- Have we met the intensification target in the OP to 2031?
- We shouldn’t have to carry the full brunt of intensification for the Region – spread it out.
- Regret that we allowed so many townhouses – they weren’t supposed to be there.
- Like the look of the building.
- Fire hall – already looking for a location.
- Greenspace – internal amenity space.
- Why 22? Parking is not strong enough of a justification.
- Peer review of parking? We have traffic personnel working for the Town, we will be peer reviewing the parking and traffic studies.
- Retail will serve a convenience function for the residents – commercial study was done for the neighbourhood.
- Infrastructure analysis was done and pumping station upgrade and traffic signals are a direct result.
- Casablanca EA being done, from NSR to Main St.
- Did the developer do a 12 storey drawing? No.
- Intensification targets have been achieved, but Region is reviewing the OP and will be developing new policies.
- Chair to developer – “you have lots of feedback – don’t come back with the same plan”.
Open House – Section 37 Height and Density Bonusing
The simplest way to explain “bonusing”, as the consultant stated, is that it is a “planning tool” for communities to negotiate a benefit (facilities, services, or cash) in exchange for permitting height and/or density above the maximums permitted in the Official Plan. The proposal must still represent “good planning” and be appropriate. Any cash received as “community benefits” in exchange for increased height or density is in addition to development charges, any other development fees and costs, and parkland dedication cash-in-lieu (where parkland is not provided).
The developer could still bring forward a proposal for increased height or density, even if “bonusing” was not permitted. The Official Plan is still the most important document and proposed developments must be consistent with the OP.
Comments from the public and committee members:
- If we didn’t permit bonusing, would developers still come in with the same #’s?
- Is it giving them extra incentive to come in with any height?
- The consultant’s best practice review compared us to Toronto, Mississauga … are there any small communities with bonusing? (No – we’re leading the pack)
- This is going too fast – need to be a lot more transparent.
- Does Council want to give Planning staff the ability to determine if Section 37 applies and leave it in their hands?
- How will the committee be made up that negotiates the benefit – how many citizen members?
- Don’t permit bonusing in our cultural heritage landscapes.
- Look at sustainable environmental practices and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.
- Look at holding provisions to allow time for the Sec 37 committee to sit down and negotiate – – Planning committee could approve a development in principle, send back for community benefit negotiations, then bring back for approval.
- The OP needs to reference the guidelines directly.
- Good planning is subjective.
- Restrict bonusing in the Downtown from Main St to the toe of the escarpment.
Hope you made it all the way done here… it was a long meeting and hence long notes. See everybody on March 27th!