Council Approves Re-zoning of Woodlawn Property

Last October, Council was advised that the new owners of the Woodlawn had applied for re-zoning to allow its use as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.  At Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, the results of the public meeting were presented and Council was asked to approve re-zoning to allow the project to continue.  But first, three of the seven members of Council declared conflicts because they owned nearby properties (Councillors Darling and Chorley) or worked for a company that does business with the owners (Councillor Burchat).  This left four councillors to make the decision.  Ryan Guetter of Weston Consulting represented the owners and provided two documents with responses to questions asked at the public meeting in November.  Rob Franklin also wrote a comprehensive report recommending approval of rezoning (see links below).

Woodlawn Inn
Woodlawn Inn

The documentation is comprehensive and staff seemed to think that citizen concerns were all answered.  Ryan also said that fencing design would respond to feedback received and would be in keeping with the Heritage status of the building.

The new bylaw would be specific to this location and would not apply to any other location (e.g. the Medical centre at 316 King East).  In response to a question from Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin, Director of Planning Glenn McGlashon said that the promised general review of bylaws about this kind of facility would be coming to Council in a month or so.

The new bylaw specifically allows:

Rehabilitation/Detox Treatment Centre – shall mean a private, fee-based facility that primarily offers secure, supervised specialized care, treatment and/or rehabilitation services on an in-patient basis for individuals who are addicted to chemical substances and/or alcohol. Services shall generally include 24-hour accommodation for a period equal to or greater than seven (7) consecutive days where meals are served to patrons. The premises may also include accessory offices, lounges and meeting rooms. A Rehabilitation/Detox Treatment Centre shall not include a Group Home I or II, Emergency Care Establishment, Medical Clinic, Clinic, Wellness Centre, Boarding or Lodging House, or Hotel/Motel. For the purpose of this use, “secure” shall mean monitored and controlled ingress and egress to the facility at all times.

Glenn said that this property usage:

  • Meets requirements of both the County and Town Official Plans
  • Is not a transition house
  • Does not have any drugs or alcohol on the premises
  • Has no interaction with the community
  • There are no in-out privileges

He also said that there have been no adverse neighbourhood interactions in the similar Port Hope property – neighbours there said “We don’t even know you are here”.

The Planning and Development Advisory Committee also “endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Planning Report”.

Note that the design of the fence is not part of re-zoning but will be covered in the Site Plan which will come before Council at a future date.

The re-zoning bylaw was approved 3 -1 with Suzanne Séguin voting against.  The bylaw will need to be finally approved at the next regular Council meeting on February 22.

The documents below include 25 responses to questions asked.


Earlier Posts

Documents supporting Re-zoning

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24 February 2021 6:18 pm

I think some tolerance is in order here – as well as some education. There is a beautiful one in Port Hope. Check this out! Private Ontario Drug Rehab That’s Exclusive & Trusted (

Ask the neighbours on this gorgeous PH street if there have been any problems. I believe it’s in the neighbourhood of $17 – $18K a month so it’s not funded by the taxpayers. There is another one in Guelph – Homewood – that has only one bed for hospital / public use – all the other rooms are in the same price range.

18 February 2021 9:21 am

Will the Woodlawn property in future carry the same or increased “Evaluation For Taxes” or is there going to be a special deal to lower the $ amount the town & county will collect in the future?

Reply to  cornbread
18 February 2021 1:01 pm

It depend on who the “new” owner is.
If the province retains ownership then the Town will get little tax
If it goes to the County for housing, the Town may get more
The best situation would be a private sector owner. The MPAC valuation would be at market, therefore the full tax revenue.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bryan
Reply to  Bryan
18 February 2021 3:44 pm

Are you confusing the Woodlawn for the Brookside???
I thought the Woodlawn was a private venture.

Reply to  Cornbread
18 February 2021 4:17 pm

Sorry misread the question a bit and did confuse it with Brookside.

Woodlawn was in private hands before and is now with the new owner. The Town has no way to influence the MPAC valuation and no reason to provide the rehab business with any “incentives” As a recently purchased property, MPAC will assess it at market.

18 February 2021 8:39 am

Was consideration given to this type of facility going to Brookside, already fenced, etc?

Just Wondering
Reply to  Phunkeemum
18 February 2021 11:08 am

These rehab centres aren’t prisons, the participants aren’t criminals. They are probably free to leave if they so choose so fences aren’t required.

Reply to  Just Wondering
18 February 2021 1:07 pm


A similar question was asked during one of the “info” sessions. The answer was that a condition of treatment was that the “patient” confined themselves to the “house” and outside property as permitted and directed by staff. So it is unlikely that the “patients” would just be roaming around the neighbourhood as they pleased

Just Wondering
Reply to  Bryan
19 February 2021 6:51 am

You are correct, no in-out privileges are permitted. I meant patients are free to quit the program and leave if they choose, so Brookside type fences aren’t required.

Reply to  Just Wondering
19 February 2021 10:16 am

As they are footing a cost of $18,000. a month to stay there should they choose to leave they probably will return to their mansion Just Wondering. Don’t see it as a worry. The fees are not subsidized by any government money – it is all their own.

Reply to  Just Wondering
18 February 2021 4:01 pm

The article says they are fencing Woodlawn

Reply to  Phunkeemum
18 February 2021 4:28 pm

As JD noted in the article:”….Ryan also said that fencing design would respond to feedback received and would be in keeping with the Heritage status of the building…..”

For me, this conveys the image of a fence suitable for a stately manor home, not a “Brookside” style 10ft chain link fence with a razor wire top.

The Woodlawn” fence could be similar to the one at the Port Hope rehab

Merry Mary
Reply to  Phunkeemum
19 February 2021 6:09 am

And a fence just represents boundaries; few homes without one.

Reply to  Just Wondering
19 February 2021 4:46 pm

Rehabs are not part of a normal community. They have huge problems unlike a normal community. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that residential treatment involves programs where clients stay in the same facility where they receive treatment, but the facility is not a hospital or medical clinic. Clients in residential treatment facilities have access to medical care, but they do not require 24-hour medical supervision for a mental health disorder, medical condition, or some other issue. However, these individuals often require very close supervision and structure. Many of the clients in residential alcohol treatment centers have recently been released from inpatient treatment in a hospital or clinic and are continuing with their treatment for alcohol abuse; may have a toxic home environment, such as one that involves abuse; or have a complicated history of multiple relapses and attempts to maintain their sobriety. Some of these individuals may have significant issues with co-occurring mental health conditions, disabilities, or other medical conditions that require structure and close supervision. There are no formal guidelines that have been developed to decide whether someone needs to be in an inpatient unit or residential treatment unit. The decision is most often made on the basis of an assessment performed by a physician and other mental health worker, and the client’s requests or expressed needs. These individuals are generally not believed to be a significant danger to themselves or others, and they can function relatively independently, but they are still in need of strict supervision and structure. Rules and Regulations People who suffer from substance use disorders, such as an alcohol use disorder, are often rebellious or nonconformists who naturally look to bend or get around rules and regulations. As a result, clients in residential treatment centers must be given a specific set of… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Jojo
Reply to  Jojo
20 February 2021 1:45 pm

JoJo – Your post is enlightening. As you say there are many types of treatment facilities. Having run a halfway house for newly released inmates of Correctional Services, some suffering from past addiction problems I agree depending on the type of facility close supervision is required some times.

In reading of the specs for Woodlawn and the type of clientele to be served – $18,000. a month non-funded, own cash, it would appear this facility will be inhabited by the elite. Their standard of care and assurances include no client will be allowed to wander the town and at that price should be there on a serious personal basis of commitment to the program offered.

Certainly the points you raise are very important when considering other facilities especially should they be government funded.

Reply to  Phunkeemum
18 February 2021 12:59 pm

You say “this type of facility” but it seems you have no idea what this type of facility is. If you did, you wouldn’t be calling for a fenced detention centre to be converted into a rehab centre.

Reply to  Razovsky
18 February 2021 4:26 pm

The article says it will be fenced!

17 February 2021 6:03 pm

 “…a period equal to or greater than seven (7) consecutive days…”

That silly repetition of numerical values probably made sense two centuries ago when all documents were handwritten, and there might be a dispute over just what the exact value was recorded on paper.

These days of computerized documents and machine-printed text, it just comes across as a quaint and ludicrous hangover from times long past that we can’t seem to get rid of.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
17 February 2021 3:07 pm

That comes in handy. Right beside the Beer store. Oh well.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Conor
17 February 2021 5:25 pm

C’mon Conor, be brave and outright say what your point is, instead of the weak word waffle of innuendo.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
17 February 2021 7:37 pm

And your point is? You are building a rehabilitation centre there and people want the Brookside property to be a rehabilitation also. Maybe it’s time to look at where this problem is coming from. It’s called personal responsibility.

Reply to  Conor
18 February 2021 1:01 pm

Your point is still in question, Conor. You haven’t clarified it at all. What does the beer store have to do with anything?

Reply to  Razovsky
18 February 2021 4:53 pm

Clearly Raz, Connor was speaking to the potential temptation and ease of access to said temptation given the proximity to the Beer Store. He failed to recognize or mention that the addict would need to pass Pharmacy 101 before getting to the beer store and/or could likely score any number of narcotics only a few hundred meters south of the Woodlawn and/or could walk to Shoppers Drug Mart downtown and/or the LCBO. Of course this is assuming the addict has relapsed, has thought about or is now considering using again. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate you patronizing Conor just though I’d answer for him to keep the conversation going. 😉

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob
Reply to  Rob
18 February 2021 7:34 pm

Are you saying Cobourg has a drug and alcohol problem?

Reply to  Conor
18 February 2021 9:07 pm

I’ve never seen a drunk or stoned town.