When the progress to the current Strategic Plan was reviewed in June 2017, CAO Stephen Peacock said that “now that the Official Plan is approved, new Zoning bylaws are required and scheduled for 2017-18”. At the Council meeting on March 12, Glenn McGlashon, Director of Planning said that a review of the Zoning by-law is currently being done and should be ready by the summer. He said that the process would include public meetings. His remarks were prompted by a presentation by Diane Chin, representative of the Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO), Cobourg Chapter. Diane pointed out that a large number of properties officially considered Heritage are currently zoned R4 or R5 which permits use as multiple residences. You may remember that zoning was recently a major part of the discussion about the use of a large old house on College Street even though it was zoned R3.
Diane made a logical case that:
Over 50 houses in Cobourg’s residential neighbourhoods have a zoning that would allow them to be replaced by high rise towers. This means that these properties are vulnerable to unsympathetic development.
Specifically, the current zoning by-law has conflicts with the Heritage Master plan and should be fixed. She then went on to review in detail the situation of each house where zoning is wrong. Her presentation included photos of each house and some of the rationale and history behind the current zoning. Although most of the houses are in a Heritage district, others are not but instead are individually designated.
Below is a sample of part of her presentation including some of the photos. You can download her full presentation from one of the links below.
You have to give credit to the ACO for being proactive. Rezoning needs to be updated but it’s not as simple as referencing the Heritage Plan – more important is the Official Plan. Any conflict with that can be taken to the OMB as we saw when there was a conflict over the legion development. I understand that the Planning Department is “working on updating the OMB-approved version of the Official Plan”. So although the latest version is approved, it is not yet available to citizens.
- Diane Chin’s full presentation – pdf – presentation details researched jointly by Diane and Gail Rayment
- Strategic Plan Progress Report – 19 June 2017
- Council Decision on 394 College Re-zoning – 12 Sept 2017
- Download Heritage Plan from this page
- Official Plan – Town page with info on the latest Official plan
- List of Pre-1867 Buildings – page on Cobourg History site – courtesy ACO