Zoning of Rehabilitation Centres

In July 2020, Council was asked to approve the use of the (mostly vacant) Medical building at 316 King Street East (opposite the High school) as a rehabilitation centre for patients with drug or alcohol problems.  There was a lot of concern expressed by councillors and the public due to proximity to the school so the issue was deferred pending a study of zoning of such facilities (see link below).  A contract was awarded to Meridian Planning Consultants to report on this subject and their report was presented to Council at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.  Their basic conclusion was that such a use should be possible but subject to case by case decisions which would include collecting public input.

Medical Centre
Medical Centre

Although the study result would be included in a comprehensive zoning by-law review, zoning of rehabilitation centres was separated out so it could be managed separately.  Council directed staff to implement the recommendations in the upcoming revised zoning bylaw, survey the public (with Engage Cobourg), hold a public meeting and then bring the final draft zoning bylaw to Council on 6 December 2021.

The study covered group homes and other similar uses (see the link below for the consultant’s presentation) but here is a summary as it concerns rehabilitation centres:

  • Some rules are not allowed – these include:
    • Limiting the number of rehabilitation centres
    • Specifying distance between facilities
    • Basing it on the number of people in the facility although space per person may be specified
  • Rehabilitation centres should only be allowed in areas zoned institutional or commercial – not residential.
  • But approval should not be “As-of-Right” – instead each application should require a rezoning application and conditions applied for each individual case.  This would allow the specification of setbacks (a distance) from (e.g.) schools.

The next step is to prepare a draft bylaw, obtain public input re provisions for rehabilitation centres, make any modifications required and then get approval from Council. No doubt the public input on this general Zoning bylaw will be focused on the proposed rehabilitation centre at 316 King East.

When asked for more specifics about schedule, Planning Manager Rob Franklin said that the comprehensive Zoning Bylaw review was behind schedule but that it should be before committees in September/October and ready for Council approval as required in December. 

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Sandpiper
21 July 2021 8:43 am

I watched this Council meeting and what the Towns consultant had suggested
I would seem that the Town is attempting to Atone for the Mistakes they made in approving the Woodlawn rather Quickly and with out this study ?? Its Right across the road from St Michaels Public School the Church and Backing onto a Large Vulnerable seniors residential community and Next to the Beer Store and surrounded by residential property . There where a lot of promises made by the Mayor on the Drive Time Radio with Rob Washburn at that time of the Woodlawn’s up coming approval many of which have now been forgotten Like fencing , security no more than 4o residents , Rehab clients / patients will not be allowed off the property unescorted , all patients will have gone through Detox else where
at a Withdrawal / Detox facility Ha !
What I read into the proposal was Protectionism and exclusivity for this type of operation
to the recently approved Woodlawn The Property on King st east was Purpose built for this type of medical Operations by a former Director of our Hospital with his partners .
Its location– identical to that of the Wood lawn with a zoning that permits medical treatment and Wellness already
So are we now stating only Certain types of Medical treatment are Allowed ????? as well
Where are there properties with in the Town that will now permit Group Homes and Special Wellness centers ?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Sandpiper
25 July 2021 8:40 pm

To Sandpiper (who ever it is), and others who continue to make outrageous statements about Woodlawn and other treatment centres, warning us of their impact on surrounding home owners, educational institutions, religious institutions and beer stores,

I advise you to respect the elected Council of this Town and the difficult task they have of reconciling public opinion, no mater how unfounded or biased, with real evidence and achieving a rational informed decision.

While public opinion is valuable it is often not fully informed, selfish, seldom concerned with the greater good. For informed decision making we elect “representatives”. Your constant harping about public opinion being decisive is alarming because it supports a phemonea referred to as “the tyrany of the majority” which is the athena of a true, representative democracy.

cornbread
21 July 2021 8:15 am

Another “Consultant Job”. Can council not understand the negative position of town residents on this topic?
Wake up, the Town has spoken…Not near out students!

Rob
20 July 2021 1:48 pm

In what other sector can one expect a 4 1/2 month deadline to bring forward a “draft” policy/bylaw? I mean the Town has been waiting for a Long Service Recognition program since 2019 – as of May it was 80% complete … I appreciate everyone is busy and resources can be thin however these programs exist already in other communities and online – glean from other programs. I’m hopeful the new CAO will hold people accountable for their commitments.