General Committee Update – July 6, 2021

This week at General Committee, Council discussed a heritage permit for 74 Centre St. The permit was to allow for a double duplex (fourplex). This is not the first time that this property has been in front of Council with a proposal and approval for a demo to build a new dwelling. The first one back in 2015 was to see a single family dwelling being built. While Council at that time ultimately approved the application back in 2015, we did push for changes to the style of build as it did not meet the requirements of the heritage district plan. The second time this property came before Council was in 2016 as the property was purchased again, and the new property owner wanted to build a different structure… and after that proposal the property sold again…Well, here we are once again with a new proposal.

While this property is in the heritage district, the building itself does not meet the criteria for heritage designation as per our process, thus, there are no issues with demolition. What is at issue is whether this latest proposal meets the guidelines of the heritage district plan.

From Council to the residents in the area, there is general agreement that a new build is welcomed; however, the concern is about the density implications of the new build outlined in the latest proposal. There are concerns that a double duplex/fourplex on this property could be too much volume for this street and not enough space to provide parking for those that will make this their home. The applicant has done a wonderful job to this point of working with staff and the Heritage Advisory Committee and made all the changes that were asked during the process. Unfortunately, the proponent did not speak with the neighbours leaving some concerns of the residents still unanswered.

While rental units are welcomed, we need to ensure that what is built meets all the other requirements. Specifically, the final plan needs to ensure that the amenity space in the backyard is maintained as required under the district plan, the mature trees boarding the property are protected and the architectural style of the new build needs to be in line with the heritage district guidelines.

Taking all this into consideration, Council believed the best thing at this point was to have the applicant to take some time over the summer to work with the neighbours to develop a final submission that fits within the district plan.  I look forward to seeing the next iteration of the proposal.

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