When moderate sized developers want to sell their homes, they will often park trailers on their land then use them as model units, construction offices and/or sales offices. Two Downtown examples are the failed development on the “Quigley Lot” at 202 Second Street and the failed development of expansion of the John Lee Jail property. I’ve labelled them “failed” since there have been no units constructed at those sites. But the trailers for those projects have overstayed their original purpose and citizens have complained about them – calling them an eyesore and “being a place for individuals to trespass and shelter”. Staff have now proposed that these structures be licensed so that they can be managed and they will present a by-law implementing this at the next CoW Council meeting on 24 January.
Larger developments build structures that are temporary yet more like a conventional house and they obtain approval through the normal planning process. An example is the Tribute Homes major development in the East End at Elgin and Brook.
The 202 Second Street Quigley lot development used a trailer on Albert Street that has now been unused for several years – at least since 2014. Note that the owner of this lot leased it to the Town for Parking in 2020 – I believe the lease is up for renewal late 2022. And the trailer on Third Street just south of the Jail has been there for years with no activity.
The proposed licensing by-law would require:
- A licence fee of $1000 per year with a renewal fee of $250
- That all planning approvals including a building permit have been issued
- The trailer must be maintained:
- In good repair and free from health, fire and accident hazards so as to prevent an unsafe condition and an unsightly appearance;
- Free of all noxious insects or rodents;
- Exteriors shall be kept weather resistant through the use of appropriate weather resistant materials.
- Existing unlicenced trailers have 3 months to be removed; new trailers must be removed one month after expiry of a licence
If the Trailer is not maintained properly or not removed when required, owners “shall be liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 for a first offence and to a fine of not more than $50,000 for a subsequent offence”. Further, owners failing to comply with an order per the By-Law “shall be liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 for every day the offence continues after the time given for complying with the order has expired.”
In future, developers might want to follow the example of TVM when they were selling the Legion Condo development. They used a vacant downtown store front at 1 King Street East so there was no trailer. To be fair, this store was owned by TVM but there are enough vacant stores downtown for any planned downtown development – e.g. for the one proposed for 9 Albert St (corner of Division).
It remains to be seen what Council think of this idea – stay tuned.
Second Street Development on Hold – 6 December 2020