Cobourg’s East End Continues to Grow

There are five housing developments in Cobourg’s East End either currently being built or planned.  Supporting commercial developments include a plaza housing a Tim Hortons plus a supermarket at Wilmott although as usual there is no firm timeframe on these. As well as the County’s affordable housing re-development at 265 – 327 Elgin, East Village phase 5 is ongoing, the Mason Homes development at 425 King East has started, the Nickerson Drive development is proceeding and there are indications that the large development at Elgin and Brook is being started.  Called the Villages of Central Park or the Rondeau lands, it calls for 1500 to 1700 homes in six phases with the first phase of 144 to 216 homes on the north side of Elgin just west of Brook. This will require significant earth moving and before that the removal of a whole lot of trees.

Glenn McGlashon
Glenn McGlashon

But tree removal requires a permit even though they will eventually be replaced so the developer is coming to Council on February 16 to request permission.  They say that the request is urgent since they want to remove the trees “in advance of the migratory bird breeding season which begins in mid-April (April 15 to August 15 as per the Environment Canada guideline)”.  The implication is that tree removal when the birds are nesting would not be permitted.

The request for permission is being made by Director of Planning Glenn McGlashon (see file photo) and (again) the implication is that he believes the project will be approved in 2021. He says that “the Phase 1 review is still underway and it is anticipated that the staff report on the final approval will proceed to Council later in 2021.”

Glenn’s memo also indicates some timelines:

Stage 1 – Tree Removal – March 2021
Stage 2 – Site Alteration/Earthworks (Spring, 2021 — Winter, 2021/22)
Stage 3 – Final Clearance of Conditions and Authorization of PreServicing & Subdivision Agreements (Winter, 2022 – Fall, 2022)

Included in Glenn’s memo is a comment about the trees being removed:

The Arborist Report has indicated that the majority of the existing trees to be removed are foreign or invasive (Buckthorn, Scots Pine), successional growth and scrub vegetation, are in poor health or condition, or are Ash trees that are infested with the Emerald Ash Borer and should be removed. There are some significant specimens being removed within and along the edges of fields (outside of protected EP areas) where protection was not feasible due to development impacts.

Further:

…. as part of the final approvals submission for Phase 1, the development will be subject to the implementation of a Landscape Master Plan which provides a comprehensive vegetation planting and compensation plan for the phase, including streets, parks and open spaces, stormwater management ponds, forest edge management/buffering, creek restoration and tree replacement/compensation. In total, the development of Phase 1 alone will result in approx. 900 — 1,000 trees and approx. 2,500 – 3,000 shrubs being planted.

There is a lot more room to expand in the East than in the West end of Cobourg – and expansion looks like it’s happening.

Links

Documents from the Town of Cobourg

Related Articles on Cobourg News Blog

Update – 17 February 2021

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on February 16,  Council was asked to approve the project as described above.  Jeff Solly represented Tribute who is a new partner of Rondeau and assured Council that the project would be proceeding and that Council would be kept informed.  The motion to approve the request to remove the trees and proceed with the massive earth moving was carried.

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mrs Bigley
11 February 2021 12:31 pm

IN RESPONSE RE CATALPA TREES – (see note beow( THEY are not invasive and are a beautiful asset to any community – whoever indicated that they are wild and spread – best go to a nursery and price this wonderful species

Liz
Reply to  mrs Bigley
11 February 2021 12:56 pm

All I remember is the pesty, messy beans that grew and littered the sidewalk. Their blooms lasted a VERY short time and the boys in the neighbourhood would whip the beans hitting your bare legs leaving welts and stinging greatly. As some died off I noticed all of the neighbours replaced them with other species. At that time I imagine as they were a politician’s gift they were very low cost.
Edit – 1:08 Hi Miriam – here is a link for further info on the Manitoba Maple – so many trees to choose from when planting. Sorry Mrs. Bigley the neighbours with the constant mess didn’t like them either.
https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/40560/20200208/not-particularly-wanted-boxelder-a-k-a-manitoba-maple-ash-leaf-maple-california-maple-maple-ash-etc

Last edited 17 days ago by Liz
Liz
Reply to  Liz
11 February 2021 2:27 pm

I hope the new subdivisions will be planting trees and especially the home owners. Trees really add to a community.
As I said above there are many to choose from. Thinking ahead of potential problems such as soft wood, root system, maintenance – clean up it is best to resist a choice made that will be regretted. I don’t know what the tree and enviromental by-laws are, Toronto you can’t take them down unless approved, which is difficult. Sometimes a poor choice will cost a home owner thousands and they still struggle to get a permit for removal.
I will always remember the neighbourhood. Poplars next door – 3 – had to be taken down finally, falling hazard, but the wind through the leaves at night was very relaxing, Elm, two maples and a chestnut tree replacing an apple in my yard. Things of beauty.

MiriamM
Reply to  Liz
11 February 2021 2:46 pm

https://urbanecologycenter.org/blog/native-tree-spotlight-in-defense-of-box-elder.html

hi Liz,
Here is a different perspective. Box Elder is another name for Manitoba Maple. Learned a long time ago the value of a tree should not be made on the basis of its tidiness or suitability for the amount of usable straight lumber to be obtained for the effort of cutting the tree down.

Liz
Reply to  MiriamM
11 February 2021 8:20 pm

Yes, the link I provided you states they are Manitoba Maples. The problem comes in if a person selects a tree type unwisely when the roots destroy the foundation of your home, invade pipes or are of soft wood and weak and fall on your or neighbours homes. If you select unwisely and live in an area that requires permits to take them down you may find it will cost thousands in damages before you are allowed to do so by the municipality where you live. As far as the Catalpa I recall great baskets of beans waiting for pick up from the ones who selected to clear them up otherwise we tramped on them or their dry bean pods littered the streets – the point was they were not selected but provided. Practicality and knowledge before you plant. A tree will be with you a long time!

Last edited 17 days ago by Liz
MiriamM
Reply to  mrs Bigley
11 February 2021 1:00 pm

It is my understanding there are two catalpa types native to North America, but not to our area in particular. And, with our changing world and climate planting zones, indicative native species both plant and wildlife are shifting up or northwards. So, maybe in time. I can still recall the expressed horror of one of my class-mates when we, the students from Ontario, referred to the native Manitoba Maple as a weed tree. Where he was from in Alberta Manitoba Maple was one of the few shade trees that would grow well.

Last edited 17 days ago by MiriamM
Jeffy
Reply to  MiriamM
13 February 2021 9:24 am

The Manitoba Maple is considered a weed tree in Manitoba.

Informed
10 February 2021 10:15 pm

Nice to see the Town growing and expanding the tax base. Also nice to see some development in other areas other then the west end.

JimT
Reply to  Informed
11 February 2021 6:33 am

Nice to see that our town is not gradually becoming a ghost town.

ben burd
Reply to  JimT
12 February 2021 11:30 am

not a ghost town but a sleepy town – all the newcomers will be ‘toronto refugees’ and older, with a short shelf life!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben burd
12 February 2021 12:20 pm

And will they shop downtown? How many from Amherst shop downtown? And the survey says?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben burd
12 February 2021 12:21 pm

We can rename it Pensionville. Zzzzzzzzzzz!

Frenchy
Reply to  ben burd
12 February 2021 6:40 pm

Who else can afford these high taxes for the downtown condos?

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Informed
18 February 2021 6:28 pm

Does anyone know what the future is for the corner of South Division Street and Queen Street ?
The house and white single story office building has been demolished and now being cleaned up…I don’t recall anything being mentioned about it ,or maybe I just didn’t see it.

Bettsy Hunter
9 February 2021 1:14 pm

Re affordable housing.
I find it very difficult to understand why there is a need to destroy these buildings that Habitat for Humanity has been renovating for many years. I understand from reading several of the comments that these buildings were built well, they have good sized rooms, and they also have backyards for children to play in. If I understand from the plans there would be very few new units added ( less than 10%)There also would be a great deal of money spent on demolition , waste disposal and sight remediation.

I also am disgusted that there are vacancies at this time of year when many are homeless.

Bettsy Hunter
Reply to  John Draper
11 February 2021 9:58 am

That’s correct how do I move it.

Wally Keeler
9 February 2021 11:12 am

1500 to 1700 homes in six phases

This is great. Perhaps 5,000 more residents that will enjoy the park/beach. Mostly from the GTA. They will pay taxes for it and more likely to enjoy it more often than the day tripping long weekenders.

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 February 2021 4:26 pm

Naw. They will be camped on their fancy back decks entertaining friends or puttering in their gardens all summer, seems to me.

Middle-aged or older homeowners are a very different demographic than the beach boys and girls. Different crowd entirely.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
9 February 2021 6:12 pm

Oh I see. 1700 homes without children, teens or youths, and certainly their children will not visit, bringing heir grandchildren. Good call Jim T

Sandpiper
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 February 2021 7:36 am

It was originally touted as an active and staged adult / retirement community

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Sandpiper
10 February 2021 8:35 am

And now?

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 February 2021 4:44 pm

Hi Wally.

GailR
9 February 2021 10:06 am

So, treewise, the wheat is going to be thrown out with the chaff. If the Town were serious about saving its mature trees it would be made clear to the developers on their first approach to Planning.Then the development could be designed around the trees and I am sure that mature trees close by would be an added attraction to would-be buyers. But the tree issue always comes up after all the plans are done. Way too late.

East end Mike
Reply to  GailR
9 February 2021 10:27 am

I too, have wondered about this.

As well, is there specific guidance on the species of tree that can/should be planted?

My take is that the list should be constrained to species native to the area. Anyone know the rules and regs on the matter?

Liz
Reply to  GailR
9 February 2021 1:47 pm

I recall the street I grew up on Gail – a local politician donated money so every house had a Catalpa tree on it. Fortunately ours died and my father replaced it with a Maple which still stood when the house was sold some 58 years later. Seems to be the way. West Park is rather stark and shadeless looking, doesn’t feel like a neighbourhood. Hopefully homeowners will plant carefully so roots will not invade. A nice idea Gail but doesn’t seem practical all in all.

greengrass
Reply to  Liz
11 February 2021 8:44 am

Catalpa tree (It is an invasive, weedy tree which escapes cultivation easily)

Bill Thompson
Reply to  GailR
9 February 2021 1:47 pm

Where are you Rory ?

JimT
Reply to  GailR
9 February 2021 12:50 pm

I think the problem is that the roots of mature trees get severely damaged by nearby construction, including digging to lay water, sewer and buried electrical lines, basements, walkways etc. and general traffic above them such that building around a mature tree is nigh impossible.

Starting over with a new tree is the only option in many cases.

Last edited 19 days ago by JimT
Ahewson
Reply to  JimT
10 February 2021 5:41 am

Mr. McGlashon trots out the same lines. Invasive, poor condition, bad health. I doubt this is always the case but it makes people feel better about themselves. Who’s kidding who, they’re going to chop down everything eitherway.

Kevin
Reply to  GailR
11 February 2021 7:52 am

There are many benefits to mature trees. Last year 2 mature Maple trees were removed (they had some dead wood but could have lasted many more years) so a sidewalk can be built on Abbott Blvd. When so many mature Ash trees have to be removed I would think trying to save other desirable species would be more of a priority.

Ahewson
Reply to  Kevin
11 February 2021 9:35 am

Were they perhaps invasive Norway Maples?

Kevin
Reply to  Ahewson
11 February 2021 9:47 am

No, sugar or hard maple.

Old Sailor
9 February 2021 8:43 am

On a related topic, house prices in Cobourg are going through the roof. A friend has been looking for a 1950’s/60’s two or three bedroom bungalow and there are very few listings. Two he looked at were asking $550k to $690k. And he was told there would be a bidding war as there are so many people moving out of the GTA, looking in Cobourg. He was told to expect a winning bid to be at least a $50k premium over asking. I wonder what the price is for all of these to be developed homes?

JimT
Reply to  Old Sailor
9 February 2021 10:07 am

“If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.”
J. P. Morgan
(in answer to a question about the price of a certain yacht).

Liz
Reply to  Old Sailor
9 February 2021 12:01 pm

Old Sailor – People moving here from the GTA – a news report yesterday said all homes listed in Toronto would reach the million dollar mark this year. So with pockets bulging retirees and others will be able to sell and buy elsewhere. 1956 – baby boomer years reaching 65 this year, fed up with how things have changed are leaving in droves I have read and there are still a great bulge in population in these years that will continue to reach 65 and leave in the next few years to other pastures. Prepare for bidding wars and higher prices here. Until the interest rate is increased prices will continue to move up and should they go too high expect the scenario that took place in the States in 2008.

Jeffy
9 February 2021 8:28 am

Who is the developer of the Elgin & Brook site?