Council approves re-zoning for Balder Corp Development

The planned development at the West End of University Avenue is described as affordable rental units.  But all units are also accessible – and activist Jerry Ford was at the Public meeting on Monday expressing full support.  The presentation by WND Associates described the 4 story building with reference to how it generally met the requirements of the County’s Official Plan and the Town’s Official Plan but rezoning is required to allow the proposed apartment building.  The land is currently occupied by a former lumber business, an empty house and a house used partly for business purposes at 387 William Street.  The intent is to leave the William street property as is but demolish the rest and build a new 4 storey 71 unit apartment building with 14 affordable units.

Jerry Ford
Jerry Ford

Because of the number of items to be covered, the developer hired a “suite of consultants” who have basically answered most of the questions asked by the Town’s Planning Department.  The layout is as shown in the plan below – note that there are a total of 80 parking spaces for the 71 units.  Some are underground and some above grade. There will be two driveway entrances – the one on William street will be right turn in and right turn out only.

But when it came to asking if there were any citizen supporters, Jerry Ford came forward and said that this development will have a direct impact on the quality of life for people disabled like him and is critical for the County.  He said that he heartily endorsed the proposal.

There was one significant objection and it was by R. W. Bruynson (Architect – Consulting Engineer) on behalf of Joshani Homes who was concerned with “the planned components along the common property line between 377 William Street and 387 William Street”.  Joshani Homes is planning to build 4 semi-detached dwellings and 10 townhouse units on the vacant land at 377 William Street and wanted changes to trees and the fence along the boundary between 377 and 387 William Street. Cobourg’s Manager of Planning,  Rob Franklin, said that this is a “technical issue” and would be resolved with the Site Plan.  He promised to assist with getting the engineers from the two developments talking to each other.

In the following Council meeting, the proposal was approved and staff will now prepare the necessary re-zoning by-law.

Balder Development
Balder Development

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Dan

Not sure if anybody will see this comment now that the story is buried under new posts, but does anybody have any insights into which member of town council would be the most interested in hearing about / getting involved in a case of landlord reneviction to sell rental units as condos and further reduce the available rental space in town?

Deborah O'Connor

Dan, glad you asked. My nearly 90 year old mother in law is facing that situation now. Tenants should call the Northumberland Community Legal Centre to learn the rules landlords must follow. Office is open weekdays 9 to 5, with lawyers and supervised law students ready to give legal advice. (905) 373-4464.

Ultimately Town Council has to give the green light for these conversions to be approved. I’d start with Councillor Adam Bureau and Mayor Henderson. The Legal Centre may be able to deliver a presentation to Council to get them up to speed.

Ben

Dan, I do believe that condo conversions have to be approved by Council. In the past Councils have imposed conditions on applicants to respect the rights of renters. In this case, because of the low low vacancy rate it may be possible for Council to impose really strict conditions.

Dan

The conversions were done decades ago. What is happening now is aggressive attempts to force everybody out of the units so they can be renovated and sold, without having to fork out the money or the rights the landlord would owe to the tenants to evict them for the purpose of renovation.

Jim Thomas

There are 80 parking spaces for 71 units. That’s more than 1 per unit for “affordable” housing. I would think that many of the residents in such an environment would not have a vehicle at all and not need any parking space.
Something doesn’t add up here.

perplexed

I agree we need apartments but at what cost the Town & Tax payers have given some very long term concessions to this group as an attractant but with Know real proof / assurances of the affordability aspects
in fact 2 of our long Term friends just left Cobourg for Belville where there are vacancies in nice buildings with amenities like indoor pools , Equipped Exercise room , and covered parking as they could not find a decent sized apartment at reasonable rates 950 sq ft at $1,350 per mon . Granted the Buildings are 15 story and newer than here in Cobourg and yes it smells next to the sewage plant !

Mrs Bigley

GREAT – THIS TOWN NEEDS MORE INTOWN DEVELOPMENT RATHER THAN THE SCATTERING WE ARE EXPERIENCING WITH THE SPRAWLING NEW DEVELOPMENTS – EATTING UP GOOD AGRICULTURAL LAND

michal Hasek

Apparently we in Northumberland are not the only ones to have sorely neglected both our renter and handicapped community. WE have made no public mention of this as we were waiting for the zoning yet I am getting inquirers from across the country for this, the first fully accessible rental building ever built in Northumberland County, maybe the province, and the building is energy efficient as well.
YIMBY forever!
Thank you Northumberland! There is a heart in there!

cornbread

The water/sewage treatment plant about 300 to 400 yards west of this new development sometimes emits a very bad strong odour that covers the whole area right down to the lake. The mayor lives in its path and knows about this for sure. There are also many big “Honey Wagons” that also dump into this Cobourg facility all summer long. What is the town going to do to properly handle the extra black water as a result of these new local higher density developments in our neighbourhood. In the future the old Beaver Lumber/Home Lumber property will probably be re-zoned for some type of apartment complex and it will be much larger than 71 units that will be built just down the street.

michal Hasek

This is nonsense!
Think of some more negativity.

michal Hasek

I have a sensitive nose. Today is the hottest day of the year. Meet me there at noon and tell me you have a problem. Due to the Kraft investment in the now pot plant factory, Cobourg has over capacity, excellent, virtually odourless sewage treatment facilities.

Ken

Michal, I am trying not to be negative when I say this, but very early in the morning, prior to 6:00 am, the smell can be very, very bad, at times! Heading to work, I have had to drive clear of this area to avoid the odour!
On a positive note, as a former construction worker, I applaud any well thought out and well organized developments in our town! More jobs, more tax dollars for the town to work with, etc. I’m sure accessible housing, too, would be most welcome for a lot of folk!

cornbread

Now don’t you feel a little too hasty with your comments?

cornbread

I comment was directed at Hasek…obviously he is mistaken!

michal Hasek

No Ken and Cornbread, I do not. I have not experienced this although I frequent the area.
It is too easy to find fault.
There has been no rental, purpose built, accommodation built in Northumberland for 50 years. Why? Because it is always much easier to find negatives than positives. WE who own our homes have dropped the ball. Ignoring the plight of those without the means to buy. Certainly this is not the most desirable site in the world. However, it is a project that will fulfil an urgent need. A crisis yet. As I say, nitpicking is like water; it runs down. Talk to someone who has family in a leaky, mouldy, basement. Check out the odour of East Port Hope any time.

Resident

That is not nonsense, there is a very unpleasant odour covering a large area especially early in the morning 6:00 or so.

Durka

Agreed. The area usually smells horrible. Perhaps those close by have gotten used to it. Not sure why there is a wastewater facility so close to a residential area, they are usually built far away like the one in the east end of town is. Somebody dropped the ball on this many many decades ago.

perplexed

The access / egress to William st seem s unusually close to the main intersection of William and
University I have never seen anything passed in this town before with such short distances to a Cross walk
etc . Although we need affordable apartments the word affordable is merely a BUZZ word used for sugar coating the project and never used when the developer is at the Bank seeking financing .
I don’t see any thing indicating a projected rent in these discussions .

Monty

Is the drawing correct? Upside down & backwards?

Just Wondering

No, the building site is on the south side of University, west of William. It’s the old lumber yard across University from the old Home Building Centre.

Patricia

The CMHC definition of affordable rental is 80% market rent. It would be useful to clarify how many of these 71 units will be affordable for 10 years.

Ben

And that is the problem the definition is unworkable and comes up against reality. The formula should be reworked and based on 35% of income.

michal Hasek

Right, so let’s build nothing until the PC’s get in and then continue to ignore those without.

Durka

I’m confused with what is happening at 387 William? It looks as if their driveway is also an entrance and part of the parking for the apartment building.