On Monday November 30, a public meeting was held to explain the re-zoning and re-purposing of the Woodlawn Inn as a drug and alcohol addiction re-habilitation Centre. Ryan Guetter of Weston Consulting explained that Canadian Centre for Addictions is the new owner of the property and sees a need for their services in Cobourg. They currently own and operate a similar facility in Port Hope. But before the meeting got very far, three Councillors declared a conflict and dropped out of the meeting leaving a bare quorum of four. Both Brian Darling and Emily Chorley said they owned properties within 120 metres and Aaron Burchat has done work at the related Port Hope facility. Ryan made a presentation with details of what was planned (see link below).
Includes information supplied verbally
- The proposed re-zoning would meet County and Town Official Plan requirements
- The existing 18 rooms will house a maximum of 40 occupants/patrons (two or three per room) and administrative offices. Usually there would be less than 40.
- The facility anticipates a total of 12 staff members during daytime hours and 6 during overnight hours.
- There are no in-out or day pass privileges – patrons stay on site the whole time. They are dropped off and picked up and do not have a car.
- Typical fee to patrons is $18K per month. A typical patron stays 4 – 6 weeks.
- It is not an emergency or transition House – homeless people could likely only afford the fee if paid by family or friends.
- There is no Government funding
- Covid restrictions would limit occupancy to one per room
- A 6 foot fence will probably be added for privacy.
Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin, Mayor John Henderson and Councillor Nicole Beatty asked a number of questions. These included staff accreditation details, Covid concerns, is this only for Northumberland people (No), what is the difference with the application for 316 King (none – see link below) and is a risk assessment required (has never been done in last 35 years – would do if Council directed). Planning Director Glenn McGlashon commented that reports have not yet been received back from the Police, the School board, the Fire Department and others. Consultant Ryan Guetter provided limited answers but promised a detailed written response by the Christmas break.
The meeting had no citizens speaking in support and five against. Four more made written submissions in advance of the meeting (two in support). The response to many questions was that a detailed response would be given later. Glenn will include the consultant’s responses in his report to Council – likely in the new year.
Summary of Verbal submissions
Answers by Ryan in brackets ( ).
Ken Strauss: What percentage of patrons would be local? (an estimate to be provided later) How different is this to the Port Hope Facility? (Very similar).
Teresa May: A risk assessment is paramount. Will patrons be “out and about”? (No – always supervised – this has been successful in Port Hope.)
Marcia MacLeod: What value is it to Cobourg? (Jobs, goods and services locally supplied, addiction treatment.) Why downtown core and not in countryside? (Not answered.)
Denis Gagne: How high is the fence? (6 feet) What is its real purpose? (Privacy) What is fence location and type? (location TBD and would be similar to typically used locally) Any Government affiliation? (No) Any Govt overview? (As with accreditation concerns – will answer later). What is commencement date? (When project has been approved – likely summer 2021). Is there any Government funding? (No and not expected).
Jennifer: Will they pay taxes? (Yes – as a commercial establishment)
- Dilys Robertson: Concerned about Community Safety, Drain on Emergency Services, Risk to local residents, Legislative Oversight, and Corporate structure of Owner. She has 10 questions based on these concerns. Download her submission
- Rick Lovekin: Wants a risk assessment citing the experience with Transition House. Download his submission
- David Wright: Fully supports the notion of a treatment facility opening in Cobourg. Owns a home under a kilometre from the proposed site, Download his submission
- Ian McKlevey: Supports the idea. If the town of Cobourg opposes a treatment facility, they are denying people the opportunity to make that positive change in their lives. Download his submission
Glenn said that the next step would be for his department to prepare a report based on inputs from this meeting, from Weston Consulting responses and from reports by Police, etc. This would then come to Council probably in 2021.
- Presentation by Weston Consulting
- Decision on Drug Rehabilitation Centre Deferred – 28 July 2020 – re 316 King Street zoning.
- Video of Meeting – Meeting starts at 28 minutes