When the CDCI West School was sold, the sale did not include the land behind the school used for sports. In Cobourg, this is prime waterfront land and occupies (by my estimate) about 1.4 Hectares or 3.6 acres. It fronts onto Durham Street. For 15 years, the school board had a hand shake agreement with the Town allowing a boardwalk to be built across the unused part of the land near the West beach. This easement was never formally/legally setup because the School Board said they had “no intention of developing the property in a manner inconsistent with the Town’s continued use of the easement”. But now, the situation has changed and the School Board wants an official/legal easement but with a 9 month right to terminate with the Town obligated to remove the boardwalk.
Even though the boardwalk crosses land that is not particularly suitable for building and is classified by Zoning as having an Environmental constraint, the School Board did not want any restrictions (or easements) that would deter a potential buyer.
Since there is no current legal document, the Town is in a poor negotiating position so had to accept the termination condition or risk having to immediately remove the boardwalk since it crosses land owned by School Board.
A new easement agreement that includes the termination condition was brought before council at their meeting on April 29 (see link below). It passed with no discussion which suggests that it had previously been discussed with councillors in a closed session.
The other conclusion that one can make is that the School Board is seriously considering putting the land up for sale. It’s possible that William Academy would be interested but given the likely price (in the multi-millions), it’s not likely they would be a buyer. Therefore, the land will likely be sold to a developer. Once the land is sold, it will need to be rezoned from the current OS – Open Space. Although it’s not in a heritage district, expect more public meetings and objections because of NIMBY’ism. However, we can hope that any buyer would accept an easement for the boardwalk to stay where it is. It is a popular feature.
- Memo to Council with details of new easement agreement
- CDCI West to Close – 28 Nov 2013
- CDCI West Sold but few details – 2 Feb 2017
- Google maps satellite view of area