WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? Orangeville's Masonic lodge

·1 min read

While the Masonic lodge on Fifth Avenue has been cordoned off with fences, and a proposed development sign erected out front, there has been no work done on the site.

Owners are awaiting approvals from the town before work can commence.

JUST THE FACTS

• On July 6, a public meeting of Orangeville council was held to hear a proposal to make changes to a building at 71 Fifth Ave.

• The current building is two storeys and was previously used as a Masonic lodge and rental hall.

• Brandon Ward, Orangeville’s director of planning, explained that the proposal is to convert the existing building from a hall and private club to an office for an insurance brokerage, Absolute Insurance.

• This conversion would include both interior renovations as well as alterations to the facade, but there would be no changes to the size or location of the building.

• The proposal includes an expansion of the parking lot to accommodate 19 spaces.

• In order to proceed with the application, a zoning by-law amendment needed to be made to rezone it from institutional to neighbourhood commercial.

• The land use applications were approved at a council meeting on Oct. 19. with all but Coun. Grant Peters voting in favour.

• Peters explained during the meeting that he felt the increase from 12 to 19 parking spaces was too many, as it would mean very little of the property will be left undeveloped.

• A related site plan application for the implementation of the proposed development is currently before town staff.

• Until the site plan application is approved, work cannot begin. Once the approval is complete, the building owners will receive a building permit to move forward on their renovations.

Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner