The Tannery Project has a long history. The property at the north end of George and near the railway line originally was home to a factory for James Crossen to build railway carriages and subsequently as a place for tanning hides – hence the name. But the building was abandoned and the Town eventually took ownership because of unpaid taxes and tried several times to ask developers to take it on (see Stephen Peacock’s background report in links below). This did not work so the Town expanded the scope and decided that the area should be subject to a CIP (Community Improvement Plan) and a secondary plan which mandates a residential sustainable development. This too has been slow to be defined although it’s coming once more to Council’s next Committee of the Whole meeting.
The Planning & Development Advisory Committee (PDAC) has reviewed the Consultant’s 410 page 165MB report and recommends acceptance subject to one more public meeting and an Engage Cobourg Survey with final acceptance scheduled for 14 February 2022. The final report will recommend details of zoning and a Secondary Plan for this area. Whew. This has been a long process. Hopefully at the Public meeting we will get more details on how this project will go forward.
The Town has a special page on this web site giving more details (see links below). There are two issues which I see as separate:
- Development of the vacant land with a sustainable, affordable, residential development. The Town has made it clear that they are not in the development business so will rely on someone else to do this.
- Defining a larger area for similar development – this includes land currently used for other purposes (e.g. the GM dealership and the two legacy arenas). This is a 20 to 50 year plan and is described with a “Master Plan” (See Master Plan Background report) and “Secondary plan” – available on the Town’s special web site page – see links below. It was discussed at a public meeting on 30 March 2018 (Photo shows area being considered)
However, these now seem to be unified with no new plan to incentivize a developer to create a sustainable neighbourhood on the Town owned vacant land.
The planning department categorizes this as a “Special Project”.
At the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting, Council will be asked to endorse the PDAC recommendation. This project will then hopefully exit the first stage of planning in February 2022 but it still needs a developer to buy the Town owned land and proceed with the ambitious, sustainable, residential development. Good luck with that.
- Town page on Tannery District
- Master Plan – Background Report – Pdf 410 pages 165 MB, on Town’s web site – the one on the Town’s Tannery District page is 227 pages.
- Crossen Car Manufacturing (on Cobourg History site)
- Tannery Master Plan Public Meeting – 30 March 2018
- A background report by (then) CAO Stephen Peacock in February 2015.
At the Committee of the Whole meeting on 23 August, Matt Reid of the Consultant Fotenn Planning and Design presented details of the design. This is helpful in understanding current thinking and is a lot shorter! Matt also commented that making the plan happen depends on the affected Land Owners – e.g. the owners of the GM dealership would likely want a return on their recent investment in their facility. He basically confirmed that this is a LONG TERM plan with no specific dates.