When the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for Affordable Housing was approved by Council in November 2020, Council added a requirement for “staff to put together an inventory of potential municipal owned surplus lands, buildings and/or facilities by March 22, 2021”. This was done but then Staff recommended that an Ad Hoc committee be formed “to undertake a shortlist exercise and formalize an implementation plan moving forward.” This committee’s report will be provided at the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on 15 November; they will provide a list of five priority sites and three secondary priority locations. Few could be called surplus – in fact the three secondary sites are public parks. The committee recommends further public consultation and staff evaluation as to their suitability.
The first thing to note is that for most locations, it is proposed that only part of the area be used so that NO Park Facilities are removed. So the recommended reduction of park space is not as bad as it first appears. Here is a table of the recommended sites – see Appendix II in links below for more detail.
Summary of Recommended Properties
Note that this short list does not include locations that are unusable because they are flood plains or occupied by Town facilities such as Victoria Hall. It also does not include properties not owned by the Town such as Brookside. See the full report in the link below for more details.
|Tracey Park, 196 Spencer St. East||1.97 ha||The south-eastern section has potential for modest infill without displacing existing facilities. Perhaps partner with Columbus centre.||Priority|
|Charles Street Parking Lot – 17 Charles St.||0.05 ha||A modest residential infill project is possible here. The loss of the current 18 space surface parking lot may be a problem.||Priority|
|Cobourg Police Station/Hibernia St. Parking Lot||0.38 ha||A modest infill using creative design techniques could be implemented on the southern 1/3 of the property. However loss of all this public parking would result.||Priority|
|Tannery Property – 96 Alice St.||2.7 ha||A comprehensive master planning exercise is underway to map out the future long term development of the greater Tannery District. Once the Secondary Plan is adopted, this site would be a prime candidate for residential intensification, particularly affordable housing.||Priority|
|Heenan and Memorial Arenas – 206 Furnace St.||1.2 ha||The Memorial arena is currently un-used and its re-use/re-purposing is currently being assessed by an Ad Hoc Working Group/Committee. The southern section of the property, including new development on the vacant area and/or the adaptive re-use of the existing arena, could be a good candidate for residential intensification.||Priority|
|Westwood Park – 665 Carlisle St.||3.13 ha||Some infill potential exists along the Carlisle Street frontage with minor displacement of park facilities.||Secondary|
|Morley Cane Park – 67 Ballantine St.||1.9 ha||Some infill potential exists along the road frontage without displacing existing facilities.||Secondary|
|Peter Delanty Park – 29 Coverdale Ave.||2.6 ha||There is infill potential in the north 1/3 of the site without displacing existing facilities.||Secondary|
Note: One hectare (ha) equals 2.47 acres.
Most properties need evaluation by staff of sewer availability and capacity plus storm water management requirements. Most will also need re-zoning.
I would think that there’s still a lot of work ahead before land can be used for low cost housing. My understanding of the idea is that the Town donate the land to a developer with the condition that the new housing will be “affordable”. Since affordable housing is a County responsibility, this will mean extensive cooperation with the County.
The recommended next step is for Council to “to carefully examine the potential infill sites with respect to suitability, serviceability and other physical limitations, development potential, and to consider the opportunities and impacts on area neighbourhoods and the greater community. In addition, it is recommended that Council implement a comprehensive community consultation and engagement plan to obtain public feedback on the short-listed inventory prior to arriving at a decision.”
- Affordable Housing CIP – Town Web page
- Full Report by Ad Hoc Committee
- Appendix II to report by Staff – details of recommended locations
- List of Cobourg Parks
Previous Posts on Cobourg News Blog
- Possible Town Land for Affordable Housing – 16 April 2021
- Community Improvement Plan up for Final Approval – 20 November 2020
- Affordable Housing CIP Public Meeting – 8 December 2019
- Tannery Master Plan Public Meeting – 30 March 2018
Addendum – Nov 16
At the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on 15 November, Council agreed to get community engagement and that the final results would be reported back to Council by mid-March 2022.