General Committee Update – November 03, 2020

This week at General committee, Council discussed the application in regards to the lands owned by Smart Centre on Wellington st east.

This application would see the development of just over 75,000 square feet of retail including a proposed Farm Boy, HomeSense and a Marshall’s, over 260,000 square feet of office development and a Smart Stop self storage as well as 2 car dealerships –  one which has been secured by BMW.

The application generated a great deal of discussion by members of Council around the issue of jobs.   From the time when these lands were zoned, 10 years ago, generating jobs has always been an important factor in the development of these lands.   Back then it was envisioned as a business park including a retail component that would supply 40 jobs/hectare. The new proposal, at buildout, would supply 100 jobs/hectare; this is an increase in available employment that will help supply more jobs for our residents.

In addition to much needed jobs, the other aspect of this application that is a crucial consideration is the additional taxes it will generate.  At build-out, the amount of taxes to be collected will be, roughly, $2.9 million a year.  This Council has looked for ways to address the longstanding issue of the imbalance of residential to commercial/business tax rates.  Currently our ratio is 86 % residential to 14% commercial/business. This application, and the commercial/business taxes it will generate will help address that imbalance and move us in a more favourable position for our residents. This is good news for our Town and our residents’ pocketbook.

It was also great to hear from the applicant that they are in conversations about locating a tech company head quarters on the site!

Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of this application and it will go to Council to be ratified.

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