Two re-zonings requested

At a “virtual” public meeting on April 12, about 10 citizens showed up to hear about two applications for re-zoning.  The first was for land on the southwest corner of Burnham St. and DePalma Dr. – the request was to allow a Medical Clinic to be built there although there are no current plans to do so – it would just make the land more attractive for developers.  There were no comments by any of the online public.  The second was to allow a new housing and commercial development on the southwest corner of Albert and Division: stores on the ground floor and residences above.  Details of the plan buildings were presented and a couple of concerns were expressed:  insufficient provision for parking and no tree plantings.

Details of Albert-Division Project

See the two images below

  • There will be two buildings – one on Division and the second smaller one on Albert.  They will be called Beachwalk Flats.
  • On the ground floors, there will be seven commercial units (stores) facing Division and 3 “live/work” units facing Albert
  • A laneway (for pedestrians) will separate the buildings and there will be a driveway on the west side leading to 28 parking spots
  • The Division Street building will have 14 residential units  (Condominiums) on the second and third floors and the Albert St. building will have six.
  • The residential units will all be two bedroom units with an average size around 900 sq. ft.
  • There will be no elevator – although stairs will be enclosed, the corridors between units will be outdoors.
  • There will be a roof top terrace
  • Building height will be the same as the existing units immediately to the south.
  • The developer is the same company which built the units on Esplanade Drive and the units on Division St. immediately to the south.
  • There are no plans for underground parking – some citizens expressed concern that 28 parking spots will not be enough.  The Planning department continues to have discussions with the developer on this subject.
  • The buildings will be setback from both Albert and Division.  This should allow Albert Street to be widened at a future date.
  • In response to a question, the developer said that there would be provision for charging for Electric Vehicles although the quantity was yet to be decided.
  • Current plans do not include provision for trees to be planted although this is being discussed e.g. a tree could be planted on the Division St. boulevard.

The next step is for Planning to report to Council.  A by-law will need to be passed to enact the re-zoning which is required since the current zoning does not permit mixed use.

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Dunkirk
15 April 2021 9:15 am

1) The proposal for a new Medical Clinic–while I understand the location–leads us to ask what is the fate of the under-used clinic on King St East–directly across from Cobourg Collegiate that some people wanted to see turned into a Rehab Centre? Do we need or want a new clinic if we have one vacant already? I am told some Doctor-turned-developers like to attract new physicians to town and steer them to their own property developments. Is this what we are trying to do–attract some new health care talent and lock them down with a lease in a new building? Whatever the reason, I can’t see our Town turning down this proposal can anyone else?
2) The Albert/Division project looks great. Only 3 storeys and seem to fit with adjacent buildings. The developers probably would have gone to 4 or 5 storeys if they could have got approval and could make more parking fit. When completed, these are million dollar condos and $20++ sq ft ground floor retail leases. Most local people can’t afford the condos and local businesses can’t afford these leases, so, new people and new businesses should be expected. More tax dollars…growth…and most of all, it’s downtown. Why say no?

Bryan
Reply to  Dunkirk
15 April 2021 10:45 am

Dunkirk:
John D indicates in his report “…the request was to allow a Medical Clinic to be built there although there are no current plans to do so – it would just make the land more attractive for developers….”

Dunkirk
Reply to  Bryan
16 April 2021 9:09 am

True, Bryan…..but the application was submitted specifically by a Consultant representing our Hospital. See link-pages 8-12. I assume that the hospital paid the fee for the Consultant–meaning taxpayers paid for the Consultant…
https://bit.ly/3uNNhmJ

Bryan
Reply to  Dunkirk
16 April 2021 10:03 am

Dunkirk:
Or possibly paid for with funds from the hospital foundation. These funds are donated by the public.
Your original comment concerned plans to build a new medical clinic, which, as JD indicated, is not correct.
Now you’re concerned that the consultant fee was paid with public money?
What is your point?

Dunkirk
Reply to  Bryan
16 April 2021 3:01 pm

I actually had some questions…
-we have an under-utlilzed medical complex on King St east(maybe there are more…?)
-notwithstanding, our Hospital–or it’s Foundation(that most of us support) paid a Consultant to prepare an application for re-zoning that will/should probably be approved.
-why?
-if you don’t know, maybe I’ll ask my Doctor.

Bryan
Reply to  Dunkirk
16 April 2021 3:37 pm

Dunkirk:
Q1: JD answered this in his article: “…it would just make the land more attractive for developers….”. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is good management: adds value to the assets.
I still don’t know why you have a problem with the hospital taking steps to manage its assets and maximize the value.
Q2: There is nothing unique or special about the “pink palace”. It can be used for a variety of commercial uses.
As I understand the situation: the PP had a number of suites rented to doctors. The leases expired and the renewal rates were higher that the drs were willing to pay. They found a suitable space nearer the hospital, with “free” parking for their patients, at an acceptable price.
Seems to me the PP owner is the author of his own misfortune.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Bryan
17 April 2021 8:59 am

Actually I was led to believe this was a County asset
that the hospital had the option on
They don’t have to manage this asset at all

Sandpiper
Reply to  Dunkirk
17 April 2021 8:56 am

When you add the TMI , and the Common Element Condo fees , Reserve fund contribution and lets not for get the HST on top of the commercial rents of at least $15 to $20.– per sq ft
I think you will find the numbers more in the range of $40 — + per sq ft .
Great if you were some where like Tor. or Pickering where you have 4000 people per day past your door But here in Cobourg its more like 3 to 400 people per day if you lucky
No clients no business
And where is the parking for the Customers to these 7 commercial units ? What type of business will be going there ? Who wants to live over a noisy Gym or the smell of a restaurant
There aren’t enough parking spaces for the 20 + residential and with no elevator ? they won’t be seniors , so parking is required

Carol
14 April 2021 5:51 pm

Parking is the biggest issue on the Albert/Division St project There is no allowance for the parking of the business owners or their employees never mind any customers. The town has said they will increase the on street parking on both Albert and Division Streets which does not solve the problem of where these business people will park. The lot to the west will be developed in the not too distant future and the parking lot on the north side of Albert is all ready full most days with the business people on the main street. Also that lot also could be developed at any time the town just leases it. On a personal note I do not find the buildings attractive for this area. I would have hoped they would have continued building similar to what has already been built. The developers think this is an industrial area and have designed this new project accordingly. I gathered from the meeting the developers said people will be able to take Uber or walk to the train station no need for cars. This is a chance to have some more input from the town planning with taking a look at the whole area I just don’t see it as industrial. I think mixed use is great but it needs good planning. However that is just my opinion.

Sandpiper
14 April 2021 3:32 pm

Its funny No one has mentioned the
Low density Medical building the Drs want their offices in on the south west corner of Burnham and DePalma drive This is a high profile entrance to Cobourg probably the Last really valuable parcel in that area of Town . Should this not be on the other side of the road next to the Hospital
It seems to me its going to be a nightmare traffic wise and from a user pay parking situation ,
If I have to see my Dr specialist before or after the Hospital I will have to Travers across DePalma from 1 pay parking to another . Not to mention that almighty Provincial Policy screaming for Intensification. This was to be a multi story build at 1 time that might also take some of the load off the Hospital Beds for long stay patients waiting for placement in Nursing or retirement homes What about a full service Mental health wing with beds and counseling facilities all under 1 roof rather than sending everyone off to Peterborough . It might be wise to
have Day clinics or the Dialysis wing there as well freeing up parking and space at the already crowded hospital
I know its hard to believe but We already have 2 well designed medical buildings built by local Drs and medical teams and a former Director of our Hospital .They are in Cobourg and Port Hope Sitting Empty folks
Lets get it wright this time Just a thought

Liz
14 April 2021 1:51 pm

An attractive building which seems to be well in progress. So can anyone explain why at this stage applications are just being submitted for the purposed use when the site is active preparing for build?

Parking – in reading complaints from West Park residents after build one of the main complaints was not enough parking, clogged streets and speeding cars. A real problem in their neighbourhoods they said.

For other large cities time marched on. Is this a sign of change in Cobourg which has come to other larger cities? There have been many developments there with inadequate parking. Parking garages, the lot down the street still undeveloped for parking? Or at this stage are there still open plans to be able to scuttle the project when it has begun?

Seems a shame. Great potential with all the condos built for retail needs of a particular clientele. Walk In, they are so close. As for no elevator it would seem to be a given in such a project with roof top terrace. Would be a discourager to any age.

Last edited 7 months ago by Liz
Sandpiper
14 April 2021 12:41 pm

We are all correct
Total Lack of Parking for the Commercial space employees and customers
The thought that On st Parking even exists in this area is insane
The all is OK with Delivery & Supply trucks parking on st barley south of the High traffic intersection
Bicyclist trying to Navigate by blind spots and probably double perked vehicles
and the acknowledgement that traffic and Bottle necks are acceptable as stated by our Planner in the meeting
I thought this was what good planning was all about to make sure this does not happen
Policies should not guide common sense .

Art Seymour
14 April 2021 10:19 am

There seems to be several issues that need addressing , or might arise in future when it will be too late to do it:

  1. What are the plans for the Town when applying the Accessibility Act in approving this project?
  2. Why is it not “set back” to allow some level of vegetation in front, eg tress.
  3. Given the very nature of it’s location, in the beach area, what concern is being raised by the Town for Strategic Planning?
  4. Given the propensity of Seniors in Cobourg itself, what consideration is given anyone wishing to visit the “roof level” viewing area? It’s a long climb for folks like me, an older senior.
  5. Maybe serious consideration should be given the major blind spot issue , again looking to the future.
beach lover
14 April 2021 9:06 am

In many other municipalities, a requirement of new developments is that they contribute to the walkability and liveability of a neighbourhood. This often includes setbacks with angled corners for visibility, improved building aerodynamics and wind effects for pedestrians. Developers are required to incorporate trees, fountains and often public art into their site plan The design of any buildings fronting Division and Albert in Cobourg’s historic zone should fit with the character of the neighbourhood and help create a welcoming, safe and attractive path for people to walk. Cobourg deserves much better than what’s being proposed.

lynxano
Reply to  beach lover
16 April 2021 5:15 pm

i dont like in the post it also mentioned setback for the purpose of later widening albert. big streets with loads of traffic is the antithesis of a place people actually want to be and walk around in, which is a part of what historic zone is know for. also also big roads are proven to cause more accidents i guess but i dont really have an easy way to segue into it

GailR
13 April 2021 11:13 pm

No elevators? Residents will have to schlep their groceries up stairs and along possibly icy exposed corridors. Hmm. Not of great appeal to retirees, I would think.

JimT
Reply to  GailR
14 April 2021 9:11 am

A few years back, in a certain nursing home in the U.S, someone noticed that almost all of the male residents over the age of 90 had spent most or all of their adult life living in 2nd or 3rd floor walkup apartments.
Go figure.

GailR
Reply to  JimT
14 April 2021 10:27 am

And the over 90 year old in this household lives in a three storey house, and his man cave is up on the third floor. But there is still the issue of the groceries and the outside walkways in winter. Where does the architect think this building is going to be??

Keith Oliver
Reply to  GailR
14 April 2021 2:35 pm

Gail

According to John’s report the developer has experience. Perhaps no elevators and exterior corridors is a strategy to keep the upper units available to the younger demographic. If so the developer deserves a round of applause

GailR
Reply to  Keith Oliver
14 April 2021 5:47 pm

I had come to that conclusion, Keith. I had been hoping for another building like the one to the south of it with those lovely large terraces.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  GailR
14 April 2021 8:07 pm

Gail

As well designed as the condo to the south of the site is, one similar to it with a facade that includes terraces on all levels, would surely be high cost and further the fact that middle income folks are being more and more excluded from dwellings in the waterfront area. I suspect that turning the Esplanade into a one way street was done to address the concerns of the residents along the street’s north side.

Before the condos were built there was a row of mature trees, grass and a rough road all running parallel to the marina basin. On a summers night people would drive in from all over, congregate, socialize, have a cold beer. A wonderful way to cool off and enjoy our collective gift of nature called the waterfront. Now, step by step, all of that common “accessablity” is going.

Again, you have excellent taste in building design, but cudos to the developer of the SW corner of Division and Albert.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Keith Oliver
18 April 2021 11:00 am

Taking into consideration the present demographics of Cobourg, the increasing numbers arriving from Toronto, condo costs always on the rise, the employment opportunities (lack of) for a younger demographic I would think that “strategy” would be a risky venture.

Wally Keeler
13 April 2021 9:49 pm

I quite like the appearance of the building, however, without trees it is barren. It needs trees.

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
14 April 2021 1:50 pm

For sure, Wally, and enough open area – such as lawn and gardens – between building and sidewalk to put them in – not just in a hole in the public sidewalk.

Last edited 7 months ago by JimT
beach lover
Reply to  Wally Keeler
17 April 2021 9:42 am

It definitely needs trees, landscaping and a setback from the sidewalk.

JimT
13 April 2021 8:00 pm

Buildings on that, and nearby corners (including the one just torn down) are set back enough that pedestrians can see around the corner and avoid collisions with those coming the other way, but that seems to have disappeared with the proposed building.

That being the case, I predict a century or so of pedestrian near-collisions or worse at that corner if this arrangement gets built as shown.

Last edited 7 months ago by JimT
JimT
Reply to  JimT
14 April 2021 1:56 pm

Imagine some fool riding a bicycle on the sidewalk at high speed up Division St. (illegal notwithstanding) and colliding violently with a hapless pedestrian rounding that blind corner from Albert.
Could the town be sued for allowing such an obvious hazard to be built in the 1st place?comment image

Last edited 7 months ago by JimT
Bloated Senior
13 April 2021 3:06 pm

Looks like the hoarding surrounding the property is already advertising the project. And I remember seeing that an existing tree would remain, and it’s gone. Going to look pretty barren……