General News

Alton Stephenson recognized with Community Excellence Award

August 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By PETER RICHARDSON

Council returned, after a month long summer hiatus on Monday (Aug. 26), being greeted by a deluge of planning issues, which proved more contentious than expected. 

First however, in order to save the Community Excellence Award winner from having to wait for what appeared might be a long public meeting, Mayor Wade Mills and Council presented Mr. Alton Stephenson with his award for his dedicated service to promoting junior sports in Shelburne. 

Along with his wife Alethia he runs a drop in basketball program at Glenbrook Elementary School, twice a week and on Saturdays. It is free to attend and has seen numerous participants go on to greater achievements. 

Mr Stephenson was at a loss for words, but thanked everyone and humbly stated that he was just giving back to his community.

Public Meeting

Town Planner Steve Wever was up next, as the Committee of Adjustment was called to order to hold a public meeting to discuss an application for severance at the north west corner of 218 Greenwood Street and First Avenue. 

The applicant, Mr. Spencer Brown wishes consent to sever a large corner lot into two smaller lots and to turn an existing home on the property into a three unit dwelling space. A new single family dwelling would be built on the new lot. 

Mr. Brown disclosed that he would likely sell that lot to a builder and he expected that a two-storey home would be constructed. That would be a logical assumption, as the surrounding homes are all bungalows and building wisdom dictates that if you build what does not exist it attracts buyers and raises values in the community. 

The assembled public, generally opposed Mr. Brown’s plans. They cited major traffic concerns, as the area was already a busy intersection, as well as aesthetic differences and the removal of three mature trees to make way for the buildings. Mr. Brown replied that he was in negotiations to replace each of those trees with not one, but two others, a generous undertaking, considering the trees are on private property. 

Another resident objected to the removal of the carport on the existing home, as it would change the look of the building. Mr. Wever replied that carports are not considered to be permanent structures and can be removed at any time by a home owner. They are not required to be maintained.

Coun. Walter Benotto, whose father built the existing home, questioned the amount of traffic in the area and the replanting of the trees, while Coun. Lynda Buffett wondered if the parking for the home could not be moved to the front of the house as opposed to the rear. 

Mr. Brown noted that the rear of the lot was lower and that the parking would be for the basement tenants and therefore more convenient and direct from the rear. Coun. Lindsay Wegener questioned whether Mr. Brown was a Shelburne local, as the town has had problems, with absentee landlords, in the past. Mr. Brown said that he was not but that his family run enterprisewas diligent in maintaining their rental properties.

At this point, Mayor Mills intervened to ask Mr. Wever to outline the Provincial legislations which apply to this type of development. Mr. Wever replied that currently the Province requires municipalities to encourage and allow intensification projects. They are required to create new housing, excluding new developments. 

He stated that Mr. Spencer’s proposal meets every requirement of all three levels of government, including Shelburne’s Official Plan. 

Next the public were allowed the floor and several spoke to their concerns. Barbara Dafoe-Gooderham voiced her concerns over the traffic and the lack of sidewalks on Greenwood. She said the area is becoming a major bypass for the congested downtown core and the ambulance station is right there. She also said she loves the trees on the property, which will be cut down. 

Paul Keefe of 443 Pinegrove was concerned about the traffic and the parking, stating that, all told, eight new cars will be potentially housed at the two properties. He opined that this would result in both an eyesore and parking on the already, busy street. 

At one point, Mr. Keefe questioned who Mr. Wever was working for, Shelburne or Mr. Brown, to which Mayor Mills intervened and noted that such questioning of staff was inappropriate. In the end, the motion to allow the severance, was deferred, pending the outcome of a traffic study to be done by the applicant.

Other rezoning requests

Council then heard three separate Zoning issues, following the adjournment of the planing committee. The first applied to the previously discussed severance of 218 Greenwood and was deferred pending the severance decision. Then an application to amend By-law 38-2007 was requested by Southbridge Health Care Inc. The amendment concerned the vacant property at 104 Robert Street, which was needed for a new parking facility and Memorial garden for the adjacent Shelburne Nursing Home. 

As with the Spencer Brown application this two conforms to all Provincial, County and Town regulations and Official Plans. Interestingly enough, this proposal also offers a solution to an ongoing problem with 501/503 Owen Sound Street, concerning the sewer lines servicing those homes. Currently, their trunk is not a Town sewer main and runs under private property to reach the Town Main. The Lemkes, who own both properties on Owen Sound, have been seeking access to proper Town sewers for over a year now. 

The Parking lot proposal could allow the Town to run a sewer line under the lot, via an easement on the property. 

Also at this meeting, was the owner of 408 William Street, whose property is where the private sewer line to 501/503 Owen Sound runs. He stated that he would be amenable to an easement and a sewer connection being made on his property pending certain agreements and studies, in accordance with the building code. The representative for Southbridge Health Care stated they were also open to discussions about an easement, as long as it would not delay their application for the by-law amendment and future construction of the parking lot. The By-law amendment was given first and second reading Monday and will await final reading and passage until an official site plan is revealed to Council. Meanwhile, the fate of sewers and services for the two Owen Sound properties appears more hopeful.

The final planning issue concerned the temporary granting of zoning change to allow ITK to open a woodworking shop in the property at 443 Main street west. Currently the facility is operating out of Dufferin Windows plant and this would allow the operation to be close to the parent facility on Main. The shop will produce high end live-edge tables and wooden parts for high end luxury automobiles. The shop will provide a minimum of two new jobs in Shelburne. George Meunier, an adjacent resident reminded council that the parent facility had had three major fires and implored Council to assure that the new venture would meet all fire and safety inspections and regulations, was well as undergo monthly fire inspections and have all employees trained in fire prevention techniques and practices. He also wanted to see enforcement of the three minute idling by-law and control of any on site diesel fuel. Town Planner Steve Wever, assured Council that Fire regulations and orders were currently being dealt with. Walter Benotto wanted assurances that all machinery was properly installed and maintained, to which Councillor Hall, who manages KTH explained that this is all governed by the Ministry and that they would come in and shut the operation down if all applicable permits and licences were not in place. The motion was approved, awaiting final drawings and information to allow staff to present a formal staff recommendation to Council.

Amy Edsel of Dufferin Wellington Public Health presented Council with her overview of the Neighbourhood Design Survey results, prior to publication on their website. The survey, designed to determine residents neighbourhood design preferences as well as their knowledge of the links between healthy community design features and different behaviours as well as to gain an understanding of residents and business owners preferences and opinions about revitalizing downtown Shelburne, was done in co-operation with the EDC. Some of the key points were that 96% of respondents preferred mixed use neighbourhoods incorporating living, working and shopping opportunities , while 79% preferred the neighbourhoods have connectivity and 86% wanted active travel friendly neighbourhoods, meaning the ability to traverse them by walking, cycling or other self propelled means. residents wanted to see a bakery, clothing stores, family dining, fine dining and cafe’s in town, while business owners were looking for family dining, a bakery, specialty food shops, medical services and clothing stores. The survey was considered a success and DWPH was looking forward to further efforts with the town.

In other business, Jim Moss, operations and Development Director for the Town, outlined the plans to repave sections of the connecting link, using AECON Construction, for a total cost of $4519,490.955 plus HST. Due to the town once again, not receiving a provincial grant to do this work, the funding would be provided by three sources. $222,674 from the OCIF Formula Based Funding, $186,200 from the One Time Gas Tax Top Up and $18,000 from the General Operating Budget. In order to accomplish the CL repaving, some town streets on the list of those requiring maintenance, will be moved to 2020 or have a reduced scope of work completed. Mr. Moss also outlined the replacement of the current Treatment Plant Clarifier roof at the water treatment plant. The current roof is in serious disrepair and must be replaced, at a cost of $5,281.60, which will come from the sewer reserve fund.

Council agreed to install a partial Cricket Pitch at KTH Park, after hearing a report from CAO Denyse Morrissey regarding all the suggested options for this. The proposed pitch will have a complete infield with a modified outfield and will be available for rental for the remainder of the 2019 season.



         

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