Tay council approves rezoning for development; raises questions around planning department's process

·2 min read

Tay council moved forward with a zoning amendment application, but not before asking a few questions.

Councillors questioned staff about why a mixed-use zoning allowing a similar use wasn't considered when it was applied to a neighbouring street. The zoning amendment for the 757 Fourth Ave. property was requested because it fell under a previous zoning that requires the commercial piece be maintained.

"There's a unit on the first floor of the building that's currently vacant," said Steve Farquharson, general manager, protective and development services manager of planning and development services.

"Very similar to this zoning is the one on Talbot Street, which council recently reviewed to establish a mixed-use zone. As part of that process, when the official plan amendment was completed to allow for residential uses to be completed to be the principle use on a property, this application was being processed."

Other than that, staff have reviewed the application and were satisfied with the proposal and the requested exception tot he R-3 zone, which was recognizing the existing building and the existing lot in terms of lot frontage and lot area.

The first query was brought up Coun. Barry Norris, who asked why the mixed-use zoning applied to Talbot Street wasn't used here, too.

Farquharson said that type of zoning only applies to properties on Talbot Street because council had directed staff to look into rezoning only that section of Port McNicoll.

Norris wasn't convinced, however.

"I guess I get really confused because we're talking within 50 feet of the zoning," he said. "If that's what it is, then that's what it is. I don't want to hold this guy up whatsoever. I think it's great but when you get back into it, I can't see why we wouldn't designate this as a mixed-use area."

Deputy Mayor Gerard LaChapelle agreed.

"The planning can get complicated at the time," he said. "You're right, direction was only given for Talbot Street, but it doesn't stop staff from going beyond that. Just because council sometimes says certain things, staff has the ability to expand on it.

At the end of the day, we don't want to stop this guy. In future, if there are other things we should add, we should do it then, instead of dealing with it a few months later."

The final zoning amendment bylaw will be brought forward at a future council meeting for approval.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com