Official Town Minutes: https://grimsby.civicweb.net/filepro/documents?expanded=1127,1965,90198&preview=96209
Hospital Corridor Study
The Town is undertaking a study to develop a Secondary Plan and Urban Design Guidelines for the Town’s Hospital Corridor. This area is defined as all properties fronting onto Main Street East from Nelles Road to West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Approximately 100 people attended the first “Visioning Workshop” held on June 6, 2018. The next step will be a “Design Options Open House” to be held in the Fall of 2018, followed by the final Secondary Plan and Statutory Public Meeting to be held in the Spring of 2019.
The study outline and poster boards from the initial visioning workshop can be found here:
The site also notes that:
The purpose of the study is to outline clear development expectations for the Hospital Corridor area. As stated above, this is as an essential component in shaping the Corridor’s future. The Secondary Plan process will:
- Create a long-term vision for the Hospital Corridor that illustrates clear redevelopment expectations, and
- Produce a policy document that refines current Town Official Plan policies to accommodate for intensification in a manner that has regard for the Hospital Corridor’s commercial role and functioning, as well as being compatible with its surrounding neighbourhoods.
As part of the Secondary Plan process, a Hospital Corridor Vision will be developed where clear development expectations will be illustrated, and Town Official Plan policies will be refined to accommodate for intensification in a manner that has regard for the Hospital Corridor’s commercial role and functioning, as well as being compatible with its surrounding neighbourhoods.
Key development aspects that will be discussed and addressed through this study include but are not limited to: the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital future role and function, as well as future building height, building frontages, land uses, transition to residential neighbourhoods, parking, loading, pedestrian access, active transportation, and built heritage matters.
It’s also interesting that the Request for Proposal outlined some of the expectations for the successful consultant with regards to public consultation:
6. Public Consultation
Public and other stakeholder involvement is key to the success of this project. The Consultant shall design a formal community consultation process which outlines the method(s) and tools for engaging stakeholders in the community and maximizing input at each stage of the project, including but not limited to community consultation sessions, public open houses, technical working groups, newsletters, surveys, notices, web materials and social media, posters and mail/hand-outs. Written explanatory briefs and other summary documentation shall be encouraged to assist members of the public in its understanding of the project. As noted previously, The Town is interested in exploring the use of new social media technologies to enhance public facilitation, such as live streaming. The community consultation process shall incorporate these technologies as much as possible. The Consultant will be responsible for implementing and monitoring these technologies.”
Unfortunately, live streaming was not used for the Visioning Workshop, which would have provided the public with a lot more information than we are able to capture and share below. Hopefully, the Town also moves towards a more public and transparent model of live streaming and sharing committee and Council meetings in the near future to better engage its citizens, much like our neighbouring municipalities already have.
We’ve captured below some of the comments from the June 6 Visioning Workshop:
Planning Staff Comments:
- there is development pressure to build
- the policy framework is too light
- there is no “target” in mind
Consultant Comments (Ute Maya-Giambattista, Principal, SGL Planning & Design Inc.):
- have met with the local landowners already
- will be meeting with the Hamilton Health Sciences hospital reps tomorrow (June 7)
- will be looking at transportation, transit, parking, traffic, municipal servicing, watercourses, heritage, among other things
- the area is especially attractive
- don’t know if the hospital will remain as is or be reduced
- lot depth is quite deep, unique
- as the hospital makes its intentions known and grows, it will be a “magnet” for development
- provide better pedestrian and cycling amenities
- maintain the old heritage flavour of Main Street, flowering trees, design elements – there are a few remaining heritage houses that should be preserved
- two parks “bookend” the study area
- manage growth – purpose of study
- development won’t be happening tomorrow, but once the hospital formalizes their intentions, things will start moving
- need to support the viability of the hospital staying in one capacity or another
Public Comments (Consultant Answers):
Q: Is the hospital in danger without the development?
A: …don’t know if the whole deal will go through – – viability – – what they want to do on site and then make it more attractive for them to stay.
Q: Is there one vision for this area, not just willynilly pieces (like Winston, etc)?
A: The Official Plan and Secondary Plans factor in.
Q: What is the role of the area for the Town? Purpose?
A: It will not be another downtown.
Q: The area is already developed – you’re tearing something down to build what developers want? Why ruin what we have here with more cement buildings?
A: We have noticed development pressures starting on the corner. We’re not forcing landowners to sell. This is an opportunity to have your say. Initially, landowners say a small grocery store would be nice.
Q: I’m quite disappointed not many turned out for the landowner’s meeting.
A: I’ll check with the Town who was invited and why you weren’t.
We can’t stop development from coming forward.
Region has a plan for transit.
560 spaces available for parking in the area. 195 are street parking.
At the July 16 Council meeting, the Consultant presented to Council. Here are some comments from that delegation:
Consultant: We need to “improve the viability of the hospital”.
Mayor Bentley: Public works upgrades for the area are planned – Maple to Nelles, Baker west, and this area of Main Street. Need to be ahead of potential developments/redevelopments.
Consultant: Potential owners/developers have agreed to slow down the process for redevelopment and are in consultations with planning staff now.
Consultant: Angular plane will be applied – retail with residential above, 4 storeys – will develop models and test from street and nearby properties.
Question from Alderman Kadwell: How much has the hospital put into the comments? How much on board are they?
Consultant: They are key to the study. Had a conference call with HHS to better understand their position. They are in flux right now because of the election. HHS will send representatives to all our workshops.
Mayor Bentley: The Town (all three municipalities) is working with them as well on the political side.
Alderman Kadwell: Is Sherwood Park proposed to change? Sell to developer? It’s outside the study area.
Consultant: They inform the study. They are two key open spaces (Centennial/Sherwood Park) and the school.
Mayor Bentley: We are one of the top two priorities for HHS. It’s an issue of money. We need to put pressure on now that the election is over. Not sure if the province has all their ducks in a row now how to fund it.
Biodigester Update Delegation – Shafee Bacchus, Chair of Grimsby Energy Inc.
Alderman Kadwell requested an update on the status of the biodigester at the last Council meeting. You can read some of the background of this still not fully functioning $10M+ Town pet project in our previous posts here: Biodigester
Mr. Bacchus reiterated much of what he stated at his previous delegation in July 2017. The application to process Source Separated Organics (SSO’s) was approved but there is no intention presently to use them as this would also require modifications and more capital expenditures ($$$).
He went on to say that although the first release to the grid and gas production in August 2017 was minimal at the time, he noted that it proves the plant is operational and they are increasing each month as “we progress through a slow learning curve”.
Long term contracts with feedstock suppliers are in place where in some cases, extra revenue in the amount of $155,000 annually from “engine fees” has been negotiated. This is different from “tipping fees”, which cannot be charged.
It takes 125 days with a combination of inputs/feedstocks to produce gas. An incorrect combination can create incorrect gas and too much liquid digestate end product. Issues with covering the feedstock areas is something they have to take care of as they have to be fully covered except when moving materials to be processed. A permanent structure needs to be built. He also noted that they are required to have fencing but are currently constructing a berm as they have received extra dirt and bulldozer assistance from local construction activity.
Mr. Bacchus noted that production is at 90% now with increases of about 5% monthly and full capacity expected by the end of 2018/19.
Mr. Bacchus also stated that an application to sell the end product, digestate, as fertilizer is being reviewed now and it is anticipated that approval will be in the coming days. To help our readers understand the process, regulations and approvals required for digestate, we have reprinted the applicable sections from the MOE Renewal Energy Approval for the biodigester:
END USE OF PROCESSED MATERIAL
(1) Prior to the initial shipment of the Processed Material from the Facility, the Company shall provide to the Director and District Manager written notification from the CFIA that the Processed Material has been assessed and approved for use as Fertilizer under the Fertilizers Act. In addition to the written notification, the Company shall provide to the Director and District Manager the following information:
(a) a copy of the complete application package submitted to the CFIA in support of the request to manufacture the Fertilizer;
(b) the specific requirements of the CFIA that must be met for the Processed Material to be considered as a Fertilizer including all process monitoring, analytical, and quality assurance/quality control requirements; and
(c) a copy of the approved product label.
(2) All Processed Material shipped from the Facility as Fertilizer must be accompanied by a product label that has been approved by the CFIA.
(a) If the Processed Material is not offered for sale or sold as Fertilizer in accordance with the Fertilizers Act, it shall be managed as Processed Organic Waste and/or NASM in accordance with the requirements of the Act, the OWRA, the NMA and any other relevant Ministry legislation and guidelines.
(b) Processed Material managed as Processed Organic Waste and/or NASM shall only be removed from the Facility by a hauler approved by the Ministry to transport processed organic waste and/or NASM.
(c) Processed Material managed as Processed Organic Waste shall be disposed of at a Ministry approved site or a site approved to accept such waste by an equivalent jurisdiction.
(d) If Processed Material that is managed as Processed Organic Waste is destined for application on non-agricultural land, for beneficial use, the Company shall ensure the land application meets the conditions of the Environmental Compliance Approval for the site where Processed Organic Waste is to be applied on non-agricultural land.
(e) If Processed Material that is managed as NASM is destined for application on agricultural land, the Company shall ensure the land application of NASM meets the regulatory requirements of the NMA and O. Reg. 267/03.
(f) If the Processed Material is not offered for sale, sold as Fertilizer in accordance with the Fertilizers Act, or managed as Processed Organic Waste and/or NASM, it may be delivered to a waste disposal site approved to receive this type of waste, where it will be used for processing (composting), all in accordance with the Environmental Compliance Approval of the site.
Mr. Bacchus stated that they would be remitting revenue to the Town on a regular basis beginning in October. Alderman Kadwell noted that last July the biodigester was estimated to have cost approximately $10M. He asked what the current cost of the biodigester is at now. Mr. Bacchus replied that Grimsby Energy is a private entity and did not answer the question.
Alderman Kadwell also asked about the quality of the gas produced. He noted that to be used by Enbridge, it has to comply with their quality control and apparently the gas produced by the biodigester is “sour gas” which would need to be further processed, incurring additional expense. Mr. Bacchus replied that it would not necessarily be at their expense, as Enbridge is prepared to provide the equipment (a pasteurizer) needed to process the gas. The gas cannot go into the system as it is now. He noted that they had made it clear to Enbridge that they were not prepared to put funds forward. Mayor Bentley added that “a couple of parties are interested to provide equipment”. He also commented that there is “more revenue opportunity than anticipated” and that “it’s running well”.
Alderman Johnston stated the ongoing concern that, “we need transparency of this company to the community and shareholders”. As resident Michael Rozender is quoted in a July 19, 2017 Grimsby Lincoln News article:
“It’s our taxpayer money, tell us what’s going on,” said the Grimsby resident and independent telecommunications engineering consultant. He says that in other towns where the governments are major shareholders in energy companies, the public expects a certain amount of information to be released.”
“When they own the power companies, they expect transparency,” he said.
378 South Service Road – Minor Variance – Aleafia Medical Marijuana Production Facility
Residents Adam Mottershead and Dorothy Bothwell presented as a delegation regarding the Committee of Adjustment’s decision approving reduced setbacks (80m where 150m is required) from a residential zone (including daycare) for the proposed medical marijuana production and processing facility at 378 South Service Road (formerly Freeman Herbs). You can read more about the application and discussion in our previous post here .
The COA decision was challenged that it did not fully meet the required four tests under the Planning Act. Additional policy and legal interpretations were presented that questioned how the intent of the Official Plan and zoning regulations had been met. Although Ms. Bothwell asked for clarification as to how the site met the minimum lot size requirement in the zoning bylaw, no explanation was provided on the COA’s statement that the site was “grandfathered”.
Further concerns regarding possible adverse impacts and odour control issues were raised considering the close proximity to a sensitive, stable residential neighbourhood and public recreation facility and daycare. Evidence that new industry odour control measures were proving not adequate in neighbouring municipalities, resulting in resident concerns, was presented.
Alderman Kadwell noted his concern with the reduction in setback and that he had been at a meeting recently at which the NRP Chief also attended. There was much discussion on marijuana issues and he mentioned that the Chief had commented that it was very hard to eliminate the odour completely. Alderman Berry stated that “we don’t control implementation of medical marijuana”, that “there is specialized equipment to assist with the odour” and, “I haven’t seen any studies”.
A check with a popular Internet search engine reveals there are studies and anecdotal evidence that suggests even with controlled ventilation, communities will experience odours (go ask our neighbours in Lincoln and Pelham). It was pointed out by the delegation earlier who quoted a Public Health Ontario’s April 2018 report that there are little to no specific studies on the exact health effects from cannabis production odours, which typically include over 200 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The absence of studies does not deem emissions safe.
Alderman Kadwell attempted to bring forward a motion to appeal the COA decision under New Business, which Town Manager Brandt stated required 2/3 of Council to approve in order to be presented. He also asked that it be a recorded vote.
The clerk did not note the recorded vote at the meeting or in the minutes posted on the Town website. But here is how they voted:
The request for leave to allow the motion was defeated.
Moved by Alderman Kadwell; Seconded by Alderman Johnston; Resolved that the Council of the Town of Grimsby gives leave to allow a motion to appeal the Committee of Adjustment’s decision regarding 378 South Service Road.
33 Victoria Terrace – Heritage Designation
A motion to defer designating this property presented at the July 10, 2018 Planning & Development Committee meeting was defeated and the following motion to designate under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act was carried:
Moved by Alderman Johnston; Seconded by Alderman Seaborn;
Resolved that the Council of the Town of Grimsby recommends that the property at 33 Victoria Terrace be designated under Section 29, Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act; and,
That a notice of intention to designate be issued; and,
That staff be requested to continue to engage in discussions with the property owner to achieve a solution for the conservation of the cottage located at 33 Victoria Terrace.
That’s all for Council for July… let’s see what August will bring us.