Public Input Wanted on CDCI West Playing Field

The other contentious item considered at Monday’s CoW Council Meeting was what to do with the now dormant land that used to be the CDCI West playing field. As reported in an earlier post, staff offered two options: A) keep as a park or B) mixed park and affordable housing. Discussion started when Councillor Burchat suggested a partnership with the County on the affordable housing aspect but Councillors seemed unsure about what the public wanted. Mayor Cleveland added a third option when he said that Williams Academy offered to buy the property for use as a football park for their school now occupying the old CDCI West building. It was also not agreed that the Town of Cobourg’s definition of affordable was appropriate.

Concerns

  • Director Anne Taylor-Scott said that there has been no study on the land to determine feasibility of building housing. It is only partially serviced.
  • Councillor Barber said that to talk about forming a partnership with the County before asking the County about this, did not make sense. Councillor Burchat said he was willing to wordsmith his motion.
  • Councillor Mutton said that we should first have public consultation; she said she understood that it was not currently serviced.
  • Adam Bureau said that first getting public opinion was imperative
  • Brian Darling said that the offer from Williams Academy would be simply one of the responses to the RFP suggested per Option B (to choose a developer)
  • Councillor Mutton said that there is still no advisory committee to assist with wording a survey
  • Mayor Cleveland said that building affordable housing using Cobourg’s definition is difficult even if the land is free. But this land is expensive so defining land usage per Option B is not do-able.
  • Director Ian Davey said that the original purpose of buying the land was as an investment property. If it were given away, there would be a tax hit of its purchase price: $2M. That is, taxpayers would pay an additional $2M in tax.

Final Motion

Aaron’s suggestion was not supported so Mayor Cleveland moved to accept Option B (see Resources) BUT with the removal of “(meeting the Town of Cobourg definition)” since it allows more RFP responses. Miriam made an amendment that further public engagement would be required. This motion passed.

Also included was opening the property “as a temporary recreational and athletic facility for the spring and summer 2023”.

Resources

Previous Posts

Options offered by Staff

Option A:
Parkland and open space in its entirety.
OR
Option B.
A balanced mix of parkland, market and affordable residential units (meeting the Town of Cobourg definition) with direction to staff to commission studies necessary to determine the development limit (funded by proceeds of eventual sale of the land); and to proceed with a formal Request for Proposal process for the disposal of the developable lands,

Definitions of Affordable Housing

The CMHC definition is:
Where “at least 20% of units have rents below 30% of the median total income of all families for the area, and the total residential rental income is at least 10% below its gross achievable residential income.”

The definition used by the Town (and the County) is:
“Affordable” rental housing is defined as the least expensive of:
a) a unit for which the rent does not exceed 30% of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
b) a unit for which the rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit in the regional market area.
A moderate-income household is defined as a household with an income in the lowest 60% of the income distribution for renter households for the regional market area.

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Debi Godin
9 months ago

My suggestion: Let the Williams School lease the land for the use of the students there. Retain title of the land until such time the use by the taxpayers is clear and decided.

Core
10 months ago

Why is there such an urgency to make such a big decision? Take some time, gather some great ideas for this land. Anyone wonder where all the geese are going to land and hang out when they get evicted? I am not suggesting keep it for the geese, but it is a concern.

Wally Keeler
10 months ago

It needs water and electricity to serve the park. Make it an art park. Make a park conducive to performance and conceptual artists to manifest their creativity? Look at the history of Critical Mass in Port Hope to provide ‘art experiences’ to the residents of Port Hope. Not much is needed for such artivity. A gazebo for single person performances, a folk singer, etc. Grass for people to lay a blanket and sit.

Critical Mass has brought considerable value to Port Hope. (Value- must mean $$$$???) At almost no cost for Port Hope residents. They can see and experience manifestations of creativity in their own community. That spirit of creativity rubs off on other municipal events in Port Hope. Look at the wildly successful Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny, where people dress up in outlandish costumes to ride outlandish homemade ‘rafts’. It is the perfect match of creativity and fun.

Creativity and fun! Fresh ideas. In Port Hope it has culturally enriched the community. Cobourg could learn a lot about that kind of vibrancy. In Cobourg the creative person has to lean against the crowd that deems them as ‘flakey’ or ‘fluffy’.

For example, the Trash to Treasure project that entailed Cobourg youth painting rusted out ugly trash cans with art. Good idea so far. But it was administered by bureaucrats, administrators, who know nothing about fluff or flake. They know nothing about show biz. They’re painted then put in parks. The young person who painted a trash can should have had a pic of themselves with their can for a number of reasons. The Town could have set up canopy tents in the CDCI lands where the young artists could do their work and the public could walk amongst them to see the progress and interact. The decorated cans could have been displayed on a flatbed truck with the artists walking along side in the Canada Day parade and later distributed in the parks. Celebrate youth creativity! Not in Cobourg, unfortunately. They got no time for fluff and flake — bring in the beanie counters.

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 months ago

But how will people get there, whatever kind of park it becomes?
There’s no parking to speak of; no transit service.
Walk down from King St.? And walk back?
What if we build an Art or Nature Park and nobody shows up?
It’s too remote from any other part of town for that.
Seems to me.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 months ago

Wally

All great events but short-lived. Need many more to justify the creation of an “art park”.
No qîestion that sense of energy associated with creativity is infectious and beneficial.

Float your Fanny was better organized than anyother I’ve seen over the last 20 years but only lasts one day a year from 9:00 am to about 2:00 pm. Yes there is an economic benefit to the town, but we’re talking about uses for a 3.4 acre site year round and through all seasons.

The small performance venue and the events around trash can painting could be located in Victoria Park, which is underused. It has parking, is much more accessible in general, beach visitors move back and forth through the park, and events are visible to passing traffic on King and Queen.

The scale of the band shell may eclipse the intimacy of single performances but possibly the town could set up a 2 foot high temporary platform with two hard walls to throw sound outward. The stage could extend forward into the audience on the other two open sides which would create a more intimate theatre-in-the-rounf experience.

Tell us more about Critical Mass in Port Hope. Good examples are invaluable.

Bill
10 months ago

Based upon the majority of opinions posted on this website, Option A is the preferred choice. There is no need for further (costly) studies and the formal RFP process. There are many other sites in town to build affordable housing and no need to engage the County in regards to usage of this particular property. Hopefully, public opinion impact Council’s ultimate decision in this regard.

Bryan
Reply to  Bill
10 months ago

Bill,

You wrote “There are many other sites in town to build affordable housing” Where exactly?
The Town doesn’t have any significant land banks for “affordable” housing. The tannery land is a relatively small parcel and with unknown brownfield costs, it is an unlikely site for residential development. Other vacant land (zoned residential) is owned by developers who have little interest in building “affordable” housing, particularly purpose built rental projects.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Bryan
10 months ago

Bryan, why do you assume that “affordable” housing must involve property stolen from Cobourg’s taxpayers?

Bryan
Reply to  Ken Strauss
10 months ago

Ken,
I don’t.
My point is that there is very little land available for “affordable” housing. Most of the land that is proposed as available/suitable for “affordable” housing, as outlined in JD’s article is currently in use as parkland or parking lots. These properties are not “cheap” land, a primary requirement for the development of “affordable” housing.

Further, as JD’s article notes, there may be problems related to sewer and storm water services as well as sewer capacity. Expensive issues to resolve and not conducive to supporting “affordable” housing development.

Bill
Reply to  Bryan
10 months ago

Bryan, scroll down and see Ken Strauss’ reference to a previous blog posted by John Draper that summarizes a report on municipal land for affordable housing.

Bryan
Reply to  Bill
10 months ago

Bill,

I have read JD’s article on available municipal lands.
The main characteristic of most of them, aside from the tannery land, is that they are currently parking lots or parks. The article also mentions the possible lack of sewer and storm water facilities and capacity.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bryan
10 months ago

You still fail to generate a single original, unique, distinctive idea for the former CDCI lands? Why is that? The Town is asking for ideas. Got any?

Bryan
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 months ago

Wally,

I never committed to provide an idea(s) for the use of the CDCI land. I doubt any would satisfy your high standards for creativity.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill
10 months ago

I am sure that the majority of Cobourg residents would vote for turning the former CDCI lands into a park, NOT housing. All the blah blah blah about housing here is moot and irrelevant.

marya
10 months ago

I consider the location of this property to be within a zone of already high density residential housing. It’s outcome lends itself for something that is only enhanced by Nature and in conjunction with the existing and superb Cobourg Ecology Garden. Perhaps landscape ecology and behavioural ecology- walking and cycling- and in association with Sustainable Cobourg? There could be a small seasonal “building” such as an “eco museum” (if really necessary).

Wally Keeler
Reply to  marya
10 months ago

Thanks for your suggested idea for the former CDCI lands. People with creative, imaginative ideas are certainly lacking on this blog. And notice from the numerous thumbs down that the majority of commentators on this blog have a deep dislike of creativity, of distinct, unique, fresh ideas. Largely, I suspect, because they have none and are incapable of having any and they don’t like that fact being pointed out.

Wally Keeler
10 months ago

WOW! 57 comments and counting. There were a very few who suggested it remain parkland for the use of all Cobourg residents. This is fine, but no one offered a single idea about the character of the parkland. Not one, unique, distinctive idea. All of these commentators: Gerinator, Keith Oliver, Jeffy, Sandpiper, Beach Walker, Mark, Liz, Think of Future, Bill Thompson, Ben, Leweez, Bryan, Jim T., Give Me a Break, cornbread, Ken Strauss, Old Sailor, Pete M., Gailr, Cobourg Taxpayer, Dave Chomitz, Silverhairedsenior, Are_n, Mrs Anonymous, did not have a single unique, distinctive idea for parkland, save Dave, who at least suggested a sports park for youth. Everyone else — NADA. There is a serious lack of imagination here. It’s quite pathetic, really. The Town Council asks for ideas and the Cobourg Blog community goes DUH!

Just a simple idea, like build up the earth at the north end of the park to provide a toboggan run for family fun in the winter. Then people will be able to toboggan, as well as skate downtown.

Everyone is born with the faculty of imagination. Use it for the benefit of the community.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 months ago

Wally

The point you made about the future of the playing field site is a very valid one in that we often throw around words and phrases with out illustrating what we mean by providing concrete examples.

You talked about a toboggan slide and skating rink. Hopefully others will suggest other recreational uses. Summer and winter make possible very different recreational uses and it’s important the area be well used.

At next Tuesdays’ Council meeting, and before it makes any further decisions about the future use of the site, l will present an argument similar to yours that calls for more detailed examples of what a 1) recreational park could consist of as well as that of 2) a residential use, and 3) a combination of the two.

Council has indicated that public input is vital and so its’ even more important we have specifice examples of how the three categories of use would actually work.

I favour a use that is primarily residential with a 0.4 acre recreational area (one big enough that you can throw a frizbe for your dog) as well as a 0.2 acre site with meeting room north of the boardwalk, that will be dedicated to informing the public about our facinating natural history, the many different bird species that pass through our waterfront each year, etc, and relate to the Ecology Garden.

With anothers’ participation I’m hoping to include four different methods of financing that will result in four different degrees of control and see the cost to the town reduced to zero

The development of this site presents a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s important we all participate and work together to determine the best possible use for Cobourg.

Last edited 10 months ago by Keith Oliver
Rob
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

Keith, I agree with you and as I said in an earlier post, (like farm land) they ain’t making any new park land. Forgive me if I seem pessimistic however I believe we heard a little foreshadowing during the meeting when Council was reminded that the property was to be purchased as an investment for the Town. Some may view maintaining public, open, green/recreational space as an investment in quality of life, but I suspect this Council will not. We need strong voices right now, as the Liberal agenda has appears to have swallowed up Councilor Burchat who’s was very eager to claim the space for an “affordable housing” partnership with the County without public consultation or due diligence. This is a once in a lifetime piece of waterfront property and Burchat’s (and Beatty) attempt to push for an immediate partnership and affordable housing was quite concerning and calls into question their judgement.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

You talked about a toboggan slide and skating rink.”

I did not talk about a skating rink. There is already a skating rink downtown at Rotary Park — redundant. Why do you continue to misrepresent what I post?

Last edited 10 months ago by Wally Keeler
JimT
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

As I noted elsewhere: the property is so remote from anything else – no parking, no transit, no through-traffic.

As a park, it’s in danger of being ignored by the general public and ending up a refuge for vagrants and substance abusers.

(I was told by the manager of The Ecology Garden a few years back that the police had asked them to remove the sides of their rustic gazebo in order to expose the interior to public view and reduce the likelihood of any nefarious activity going on there).

We could be in danger of creating own secluded Needle Park right here in town.

Last edited 10 months ago by JimT
Ahewson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 months ago

You don’t always need imagination when it comes to natural spaces. A simple flowery meadow is as beautiful as anything a human could dream up. Man-made “things” and intervention can sometimes detract from natural beauty.

Having said that, my idea for the space would never see the light of say so I never posted it. I wouldn’t mind seeing the boat storage moved to a portion of the land. Where the boat storage currently is could have an enlarged version of the hill/mound that’s already there, with a path leading up to it to a gazebo/overlook where you could gaze out at the entirety of the harbour. The rest of the West playing field that’s not boat storage would be naturalized park space as is already the theme of the area.

If you’re wondering, boat storage on the West field would take up about 1/4 of it. Still leaves a boat load of space (pun intended) for whatever other use is decided on.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ahewson
10 months ago

Ahewson

Your proposed use of the hill/mound I assume referred to the elevated area at the south end of the present boat storage?

Sounds like you have some interesting uses in mind for the playing field site. This is the time for creative thinking. Let’s hear them

Ahewson
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

Yes exactly. Fill in the boat storage area with a larger hill/mound, provide a slope to allow people to the top where there would be a harbour overlook. I think a gazebo type structure would look stunning up there also.

JimT
Reply to  Ahewson
10 months ago

Excellent idea. Or just move the hill over so it no longer blocks access to the west headland. At least scrape it down with a bulldozer and spread it out to a more reasonable height.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 months ago

Months ago I as did some others suggest that it become the New exciting Cobourg West sport beach .
For active Families & Sport Competitions Volley Ball wind surf Comp , Frisby Etc
loads of parking on the new lot along with Club change rms and food vendors etc .
The Local Res spoke up very clearly with that NIMBY aspect using a natural beach and weed patch as a more desirable use .

Gerinator
10 months ago

If past experience(s) is any indicator of the future then once Opt B hits the table with an official RFP then the results will be totally out of the control of Planning and Development. The developer will do whatever they want regardless of the RFP and they will have the backing of the Minister. Given the location of this property and the taxpayer funded purchase of the property, I’d really like to see a win here based on sound business practice.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Gerinator
10 months ago

Gerinator

Wrong! The Town is not committed to accept any RFP responses. It can pick and choose or reject all.

Jeffy
10 months ago

Probably THE MOST valuable piece of vacant lakefront property in Cobourg and some are considering using it for welfare housing? What the heck is wrong with this council?

Dave
Reply to  Jeffy
10 months ago

Jeffy – Welfare Housing? Study up on the various kinds of Affordable Housing along with the 6 who voted you up. Surprising how people have such little knowledge of this. There is Market, not-for-profit – Co-op and RGI. RGI is what you are referring to it appears. However there are people who are at that level to qualify and worked all their life it might surprise you. The type has never been specified. Hate to see someone go through life so poorly informed. Have a nice day!

Last edited 10 months ago by Dave
Sandpiper
Reply to  Dave
10 months ago

Still Starting with an affordable base , affordably serviced being the Land then you can end up with
more bang for the buck and nicer bigger units . not tiny houses . and 500 sq ft apts .

Beachwalker
Reply to  Jeffy
10 months ago

THE MOST valuable piece of lakefront property in Cobourg houses a trailer park.

Mark
Reply to  Beachwalker
10 months ago

I thought the library should have been built there

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Jeffy
10 months ago

Jeffy

“What’s wrong with this Council?”

What’s “wrong” is they are tying to do the right thing for Cobourg! They are doing their best to follow a logical and inclusive process for which there’s no pecident.

The development/future of this site is a unique opportunity that will probably never happen again. There are many possibilities including forms of purpose, ownership and control that have yet to be discussed.

Your characterization that this is a “welfare project” is disturbing to say the least and only pours feul on the fire, encouraging others to take extreme positions.

The consequences of turning what should be stable and dependable housing into an investment opportunity as apposed to a human right … is the problem.

I hope that during the process Council is trying to follow that we will find out how many dwellings are being used as Airbnb profit makers. They should be subject to a property tax 3x the normal as should housing left vacant for more than four months.

Ironically I’m urging you to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to express your missplaced bias.

Last edited 10 months ago by Keith Oliver
Liz
Reply to  Jeffy
10 months ago

AGREED!!

Think of Future
10 months ago

Has anyone considered how valuable this piece of land is? The Town/Council should take their time before committing to selling or building low rental properties. There are other properties they own where this would be a suitable option. Take time and think of the future.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Think of Future
10 months ago

Totally agree with thinking of the future as more development is springing up everywhere.
It appears that the goal is to transform Cobourg into just another overdeveloped former small town with the natural positive aspect of that lifestyle disappearing steadily as has happened to so many other locations.
How many buildings in the area that are unused, /demolition by neglect planned, etc are in the Cobourg area while green areas are being paved over and condos etc springing up?
It’s not a case of Nimby that anyone opposed to the steady disappearance of what makes small town living attractive but the disappearance of its uniqueness.
Like the popular folk song states “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot “

Last edited 10 months ago by Bill Thompson
Keith Oliver
Reply to  Think of Future
10 months ago

Think of Future

Just where are these “other properties” the Town owns that would be suitable? If you can’t name them retract your statement.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

There is land out a Willmott st , The never ending Tannery story
a chunk on Kerr st W. look harder and take some of that land and amend the Zonings some parcels are not considered because they are not zoned correctly right no yet its intended uses have remained dormant for yrs .

Pete M
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

Tannery Lands

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
10 months ago

Pete M,

Right.

And how are the Tannery lands suitable for “affordable” housing?

The Town’s current cost hasn’t been disclosed.
There is no estimate of the cost of the brownfield cleanup,
There are sewage capacity issues

Developers have shown little interest in the tannery land for a reason….unknown costs.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bryan
10 months ago

Why are you guys wasting time commenting about the Tannery lands? Did neither of you read the heading of this column: Public Input Wanted on CDCI West Playing Field. Ideas please, if you have any for the field, just a single small distinctive idea. If I can do it, so can you.

Sandpiper
10 months ago

Anne Taylor Scott Said there was not Study done I believe someone also said No Sanitary
sewer and it was down hill the wrong way . Why did the former Mayor & Council Buy it
if there was no Back ground study Is it Contaminated , were there Oil Tanks there such as on the former Hoffman property ? How can Council Keep spending Tax $$ wildly and without
knowledge . Yes its Pretty But you can not build affordable if its Base costs and servicing
are expensive Besides there is no Sewage capacity at the west plant even at the time of purchase.

ben
Reply to  Sandpiper
10 months ago

Why did the former Mayor & Council Buy it
to ensure that the boardwalk could be built and Town owned

if there was no Back ground study Is it Contaminated , were there Oil Tanks there such as on the former Hoffman property ?
No history of contamination therefore no study no oil tanks on West side of Hibernia, only on Third St.

How can Council Keep spending Tax $$ wildly and without knowledge
an unsubstantiated opinion

Yes its Pretty But you can not build affordable if its Base costs and servicing are expensive
That’s a developer’s problem, Bagot St was developed by pumping to a sewer on Sydenham at the homeowners expense

Besides there is no Sewage capacity at the west plant even at the time of purchase.
There is plenty at Plant #2 – just connect to the existing diversion in the King St. trunk

Last edited 10 months ago by ben
Leweez
Reply to  ben
10 months ago

Yes Bagot street was developed by pumping to a sewer, as were properties on Tay Street and Water Street and yes it was the developers problem. But now, the Town owns the these underground infrastructures, and it is our problem now!!

Last edited 10 months ago by Leweez
Sandpiper
Reply to  ben
10 months ago

Plant 2 is already spoken for Not an ounce left
Tribute is waiting for Capacity
The George st & Buck small Adult apt Building of approx 30 units same
Elgin at the YMCA no sewage Line or plant capacity DePalma and Strathy Rds etc etc
They will still require a Contaminate study ministerial requirement Certainly for Banking .
They also brought up the fact that the Ground water Table may be a concern as well
thats a No Brainer . but I didn’t see that mentioned in this article .
A Developers view of Viability and Councils view are of 2 completely different worlds
and purposes ,
and your statement of ” That’s the Developers Problem ” reinforces the fact
that quite clearly .

Bryan
Reply to  Sandpiper
10 months ago

Sandpiper,

You indicate that WPCP #2 (Lucas Point) is at capacity.
Does WPCP #1 (King St W) have capacity?

Has Staff brought these capacity and “collection” problems to Council?
What solutions, if any, have they proposed?

Sandpiper
Reply to  Bryan
10 months ago

They have kept this very Quiet at Eng. and Council and no the King W plant is at & over capacity MOE has been out there looking for a solution for a yr now No Expansion room
A lot of the Lines exceed Capacity DePalma developments have been held up on this for yrs just spent $50 K a few months ago out of their own pockets on a 2nd Flow test and Capacity study for the new Hotel & Long term care that was proposed 4 yrs ago . severances granted Zoning Ok and the Town was given land for the road yet they are still held back .— Last Month Engineering asked the Tax Payers not the Private property owners / Developers for another $50 K to do another Sanitary Capacity study on Strathy Rd for the same reason Why the Taaax payers are flipping the bill for this one remains an Unanswered Mystery Must be someone special .we are not to know about let me know if you find out the real story .

Bryan
Reply to  Sandpiper
10 months ago

Sandpiper,

You indicated that WPCP #2’s capacity is “spoken for”. I assume that this is for the housing development currently underway in the east end.
So with all of the “planned” growth over the next few years, where is the sewage going to go?
Into the lake?

I don’t recall any plans for a new/expanded WPCP being brought to Council.
When do you think the big reveal will be?
Any idea of the cost?.
.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bryan
Sandpiper
Reply to  Bryan
10 months ago

Ask Terry Hookstra in Eng
he’s the one suggesting and calling for all these Studies & Flow Tests
Granted he is only a Engineering Technologist .
So he either needs a real Engineer to certify & stamp the work for him ,
there for the need for private engineering studies ,
which is only dragging out the Planning process — Red Tape for fun or he knows the Town has a line and capacity problem . What do you think it is ????????????

JimT
Reply to  ben
10 months ago

There certainly were oil tanks on the west side of Hibernia, all the way over to Durham. I remember when they were built, and I remember we used to fling stones at them from Durham St. just to hear the loud “clang” after a couple seconds delay.

The buildings on the western side of Legion Village now occupy the site where those tanks were.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Sandpiper
10 months ago

Sandpiper

Would be informative if you took a short walk at the south end of Durham Street. Opposite the site in question, on the east side, you will see a large, four storey, red brick building which houses many individuals whose toilets seem to work properly.

The study referred to by Planning Director Taylor Scott was to determine the extent and variation in below-grade ground water. As a responsible member of staff she is probably waiting to see what direction development might take. If all natural no need for the study.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

Fully aware and to the west down Ont. st the old Ilihea Lodge was sold and built out by K. Dobble he also converted the Old Port Hope Hospital to something useful as well
I also know the fellow that Tackled Victoria College in 1995 through 2000
when & where the concept of a development now known as Ryerson Commons evolved. Little known fact but he received many awards for tackling it .

Mayor Chelovich was a great supporter & help from what he told me

Give me a break
10 months ago

“ Doug Ford’s government wants to build 1.5 million homes in the next decade, but new data in its 2023 budget suggests the province is already off-target. “ …. If our MPP was actively involved in helping his boss out then maybe he could push to get the Brookside Site used to build affordable housing and maybe even rental units …. 1.5 million over 10 years = 150,000 a year across the province and if we can just do our share get a few hundred built each year then it can be accomplished … too much politics and red tape all around …

cornbread
Reply to  Give me a break
10 months ago

The problem is…the Feds and Prov. Govts are sending the towns and cities into a tail spin because of high amounts of immigration. They tax the blazes out of us then expect more subsidies for low cost housing.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  cornbread
10 months ago

Cornbread

Get over the immigration thing. The Baby Boom distorted the normal population age destiribution to the point where now, as in Cobourg, the proportion of seniors is too high (and growing) while that of working age (needed to support seniors’ end-of-life needs) is shrinking.

90 percent of immigrants are well qualified to fit into the Canadian economy and do so. Many create business, augment our professional population. Their children are better educated and appreciative of what Canada has to offer.

The problem is our broken housing system that would normally respond to demand with increased supply.

Last edited 10 months ago by Keith Oliver
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
10 months ago

Keith, well qualified or not, adding 500,000 newcomers each year puts a severe strain on Canadians to provide housing, education and medical services. It is impossible to provide for that number of immigrants AND maintain the quality of life for current Canadians.

It is a broken government that allows an unsustainable number of newcomers each year rather than a broken housing system!

Old Sailor
10 months ago

I am wondering why the discussion of not-for-profit-housing locations does not include looking at all of the available lands owned or controlled by the Town or County. Some Councillors seem to jump at each property discussed in the blog – like the waterfront property and the CCC lands. Can the town and county staff not direct this discussion and come up with the Big Picture best affordable options? Then get taxpayer buy in.

Dave
Reply to  Old Sailor
10 months ago

Previously on Engage Cobourg they had a number of locations under consideration for not for profit housing Old Sailor. My memory is foggy but I think there was a survey that allowed you to vote on what you thought was best – but that part I am not sure about.
Maybe it got thrown in the garbage.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
10 months ago
Last edited 10 months ago by Ken Strauss
Dave
Reply to  Ken Strauss
10 months ago

Thanks Ken – the list is quite helpful I see no housing has been built on any of the sites listed. I do recall it on Engage Cobourg asking in the survey which locations one would favour. In viewing Engage Cobourg it only goes back to 2022.

Pete M
Reply to  Old Sailor
10 months ago

Old Sailor
The Town has the lands Tannery District
https://www.cobourg.ca/en/business-and-development/Tannery-District.aspx
The question is why they haven t moved on this.
Are they waiting on a developer with deep pockets?
Are they waiting on the GO Train coming to Cobourg to develop this into a commuter neighbourhood?

The land is there…what is the plan…when will see something substantive happening?

Gailr
Reply to  Pete M
10 months ago

My suggestion- allow attractive for profit housing on the part of the playing field that can be built on. My preference would be for a medern design townhouse development. No more fake Georgian, puhleeze. However tell that developer that first they have to at least start building affordable housing on the Tannery site. Doubtless they will complain, but land banking is what big developers do. Ask the Premier’s friends.
My concern about the Williams school interest is that they see an investment opportunity. Could zoning take care of that concern?

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
10 months ago

Pete M,
The issue with the tannery lands is it is brownfield and the cleanup costs and liability are unknown. The Town hasn’t cleaned it up because of the costs and the developers are avoiding it for the same reason.

Further, the Town owned tannery land is a relatively small piece of the whole “tannery” area. The non-Town owned properties are in use and no indication that the owners are willing to sell.

There is no indication of what the Town’s tannery land has cost: unpaid taxes, consultants and legal fees, environmental testing, etc. or what the market value is.

JimT
Reply to  Bryan
10 months ago

“In use”? It’s been about 10 acres of rough scrub & bush since they tore the tannery down.

I’m curious what part of the vacant Tannery Lands are “in use”.

Last edited 10 months ago by JimT
Bryan
Reply to  JimT
10 months ago

Jim T,

I wrote, “The non-Town owned properties are in use and no indication that the owners are willing to sell.”
The operative words are “non-Town owned”.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Old Sailor
10 months ago

Not for Profit & Affordable , Last yr it was Sustainable
JUST BUZZ WORDS council wants you to believe they actually care and are Listening

Cobourg taxpayer
10 months ago

Ian Davey claims the field was purchased as an investment property. Since when does the town invest in property where the only way to make money is to build high end residential units? Does investment not mean making money? Davey is the town treasurer, does he not understand this simple concept? Also ALL profit is shared 50/50 with the school board. So Davey needs to keep that in mind when encouraging town investment property.
On another note DO NOT sell to William Academy. Their intentions would also be to make money and would likely do so much more efficiently than Davey and other town staff.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
10 months ago

My understanding is that the field was purchased to secure access to the boardwalk area with the hope that the cost could be recovered by selling the non-essential portions. If not all is required for parkland why not sell it at the best possible price which is almost certainly for exclusive residential housing? Why do you find “making money” for the taxpayers unacceptable?

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  Ken Strauss
10 months ago

Ken I have no problem with the town making money. To be more clear: a previous blog said 1/2 to 2/3 of the land is developable. The town has already spent 2 million. Any profit over $2 million has to be shared with the school board. What would be considered a reasonable return on investment? In my opinion it is not going to be high enough to justify selling what could a beautiful natural park.

Dave Chomitz
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
10 months ago

I don’t think it’s about return on investment as much as it is about controlling the outcome – having some input into what happens there. Being sure it’s the best use for the community and who ever is doing it has some experience etc. if the town didn’t buy it it would be first one with a cheque wins. Look at the old school on George St. And imagine that decades plus journey along the waterfront.

B. JANE L. FULLERTON
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
10 months ago

Does anyone realise that Stuart Field who owned the original track of land that started at Sydenham, encorporating his house too, relandscaped it, hence destroying a wetland, sandunes, a row of poplars lined the west side fence line?? Well I do. It was lovely, natural habitat for birds, sandunes that were at the end of the wetland! He had it drained, filled in, grassed, sadly the row of poplars died out. Sandunes flattened!!
When sold to the West for a playing field and track, the land was raised higher to accommodate the track. Sadly locked off for any public use, just for the students. The land should either have been kept, maintained for the school over the years, soccer games have frequented the grounds for a number of years.
In my opinion it should revert back to natural wetlands with sandunes not for so called affordable lakefront property, that is a joke! Or continue as a playingfield. Housing can go elsewhere, where services exit, there are none there and too costly! Enough has been done on the West Side of town with expensive housing. Find another feasible location. As far as the old West school, William’s academy, selling to them would mean a developer would end up owning it.
The students hardly use what grounds there are around the school!. Parkland wetland and dunes!!

cornbread
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
10 months ago

What is the “source” of the money from William Academy? Also, has anyone ever bought a house and made a deal with the previous owner to split any future profit??? What kind of financial wizards work for Cobourg?? Just asking…

Dave Chomitz
Reply to  cornbread
10 months ago

The town got a sweet heart deal and first refusal on the property from the school board on the pretext the town would use it. If the town chooses to sell it to a for profit entity the school expects their share of market value. It’s simple if you understand it – no wizardry required.

marya
Reply to  cornbread
10 months ago

Please, please do not sell the land to William Academy.

Dave
10 months ago

Two Questions

Why would the Mayor wish to eliminate the Town of Cobourg’s definition of affordable housing? What would replace this if affordable housing is the aim?

Why would the Mayor want to limit RFP responses? Mayor Cleveland’s quote “BUT with the removal of “(meeting the Town of Cobourg definition)” since it allows more RFP responses.”

Definition of RFPs below – would provide a link but my links are sqewed.

What Are RFP Requirements?An RFP must describe and define the project in enough detail to attract viable responses.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
10 months ago

Cleveland should have proposed eliminating any reference to “affordable” in the RFP. The fewer restrictions the more likely the town would get desirable proposals.

Dave
Reply to  Ken Strauss
10 months ago

I read the Mayor wished to have Option B which states “Option B.
A balanced mix of parkland, market and affordable residential units”

This would indicate the Mayor has decided to add a new option and the proposed Option B which is up for vote has undergone a sea change and wasn’t on the Board for consideraton. Procedural problem? He would have had to request a motion to change Option B. 

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
10 months ago

Dave, he did offer a motion for the change. The agenda lists Option B as “A balanced mix of parkland, market and affordable residential units (meeting the Town of Cobourg definition)…” The approved motion deleted the text in parenthesis.

In order to get the best RFP results it would have been far better to have also replaced “, market and affordable” with simply “and”.

Dave
Reply to  Ken Strauss
10 months ago

Sorry, re-read missed the deletion the Mayor Proposed – had expected to see Yah and Nay votes on it. Only saw Miriam Mutton stating further public consultation is required.
A thought would be to keep it and use it for youth sporting activities by various organizations. The Kiwanis was a club I attended as a youth. Thinking of the recent drug problems and providing activities for the youth of a growing Cobourg. Engaged youth are less likely to wander. They would need to include Bleachers, consider what kind of snack/beverage sales, possible change rooms or they could just have a field you arrived at dressed for the selected sport, gatorade, thermises – depends on how fancy you want to go.

Silverhairedsenior
Reply to  Dave
10 months ago

It’s not a simple matter to convert an unused open area into a playing field for soccer, rugby or baseball. Time & considerable money is needed

Jeffy
Reply to  Silverhairedsenior
10 months ago

Drive around town and see how many unused athletic fields there are.

Are_n
10 months ago

I would be wary about opening that property up for “a temporary recreational and athletic facility”. My fear is that the sleeping cabin people or other advocates for the unhoused would try to take it over and start a “tent city” or something there.

I also don’t support selling it to Williams Academy. If we don’t have an urgent need to use it for something we should engage the public to see what consensus can be developed for use that doesn’t result in over development.

Keeping as extra parkland would be ideal for the short term. Maybe even use as an off leash dog park and stop paying to lease the one on Ontario Street.

Mrs. Anonymous
10 months ago

Does anybody really believe that Williams Academy wants to buy the land for a football park?

Mark
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
10 months ago

The mayor must been checking out the stores King and Division St before going to meeting
I wonder if he even knows that CCI doesn’t have a football team any more
Williams Academy is a private school , if they want the field they would have bought when they bought the building

Last edited 10 months ago by Mark
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Mark
10 months ago

How does CCI not having a football team affect Williams Academy wanting a football field?

Silverhairedsenior
Reply to  Ken Strauss
10 months ago

The odds of Williams Academy ever being able to develop a football team is extremely remote.

ben
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
10 months ago

I would suggest they would want it for speculation just as they bought the building next to them on King St.