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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Packed House for Admiral Meeting

Collingwood | by Catherine Thompson  

Residents comment on latest plans for Admiral Collingwood development.

It was standing room only at a public meeting on the Admiral Collingwood Place development on Monday night.

About 100 people packed into a room at the Leisure Time Club in Collingwood for the meeting that was to focus on an official plan and zoning by-law amendment to allow for more density and a higher building than normally allowed downtown.

The developer wants to build 127 condo units in a six-storey building.

But the property is currently in the heritage district and the heritage by-law states a building in the district can only be three storeys.

At last week's council meeting, council advised staff to look at the feasibility and how to remove a property from the heritage district.

Even though this wasn't part of the public meeting agenda, many people spoke out about it, wanting the Admiral Collingwood condo development at Hume and Hurontario Streets to have to live by the same rules other heritage properties have to.

There were about 13 speakers during the two hour meeting and four people were in favour of the project moving ahead.

But the rest were concerned about many things like, preserving heritage, but also parking issues, and having a "highrise" as one person called it, deter shoppers from coming to the downtown.

That point was made by Lindsay Cook who owns the store Clerkson's At Home on Hurontario Street.

She says she does want to see the big hole on the corner developed, but with many downtown businesses struggling, she worries the six storey building will drive business away from her shop because tourists come downtown because of the heritage look and feel.

Another concern voiced at the meeting is the possibility of doing away with the section 37 requirement.

The developer, under the previous plan, had to pay the town money for being allowed to build higher and denser. But if this change goes through, the developer would be allowed to do this with no financial penalty.

There were some emails read at the beginning of the meeting from people who couldn't attend and most seemed to be in favour of the development moving ahead as planned.

During the public portion, even former mayor Terry Geddes got up and spoke. He was almost in tears, saying there is enough division in this community and he commends the current mayor for her leadership. He adds there is a developer who wants to spend money in the town and that this isn't about now, it's about a hundred years from now.

Geddes was applauded for his comments.

The developer, Steve Assaff, tells Bayshore Broadcasting News he wasn't surprised by any comments made at this meeting. He says they were pretty much the same as during the last process for his previous plan.

Council has yet to make any decisions about the zoning and official plan changes for the Admiral Collingwood Place development.


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