Tannery Update

The “Tannery Project” has a long history and this needs to be understood before going further. There is a lot of misunderstanding about both its scope and practicality – but at the next Committee of the Whole (CoW) Council meeting, Rob Franklin, Manager of Long Range Planning, will ask council to give final approval for an enabling By-Law. If passed, the Official Plan and Zoning will then be modified to enable the Master Plan for the Area. The first thing to know is that the Master Plan covers an area much larger than just the vacant Tannery land; secondly, there is still pollution on the property and thirdly, there is no indication that any developer is interested in creating the… Read complete articleTannery Update

Council Decision Requested on old CDCI Property

In September 2022, the Town announced that they would be buying the old CDCI West playing field on Durham Street.  The purchase price was $2M and the deal closed in December 2022. At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 3, staff will ask Council which of two options should they proceed with: 1) Keep all of it as parkland or 2) sell part of it to a developer on condition of including affordable housing.  In either case, changes to the Official plan are not required but residential housing would require re-zoning. The 2013 Parks Master plan would favour a park but the 2016 Downtown Master plan would favour the mixed plan. To help with a decision, staff spelled… Read complete articleCouncil Decision Requested on old CDCI Property

Long Debate on Balder CIP

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Councillors debated whether to approve awarding Balder Corporation the CIP amounts promised for their development. The concern (as pointed out in a previous Post) was that the number of affordable units per the County/Town definition was only 4 compared to the original 15 (20% of 71). The developers made a presentation to Council that included the fact that they were persuaded by Mayor Henderson to change their original plans for a retirement home to be a rental project with a promise of Council support. Their presentation plus subsequent Council discussion lasted 84 minutes. Staff also made it clear that even with no affordable units, the requirements for the CIP would be met. According… Read complete articleLong Debate on Balder CIP

Fewer Affordable Units at Balder Development

At the next CoW Council meeting on March 13, Council will be asked to formally approve CIP grants and loans to Balder corporation despite the fact that there are only 4 affordable units instead of the 15 originally planned.  The project on University Ave West (near William St.) has 71 rental units and is now almost fully rented.  According to advertising by Balder (see graphic in resources below), rents start at $1,540 per month for studios with one-bedroom apartments starting at $1,595 (utilities included).   These rents are higher than initially planned “in response to increased costs associated with the development”. However, according to a report by Cobourg Staff, there are four one-bedroom units which meet the affordable definition used by… Read complete articleFewer Affordable Units at Balder Development

King Street West Update

Cobourg residents are encouraged to shop and do business downtown.  The centre of downtown is King Street West but some stores have closed or are wanting to close and their buildings are up for sale – although there are also building owners selling with the tenants continuing.  What does that mean?  A CIP is available that provides grants for building improvements but the amounts are small compared to current ask prices.  The program to “vitalize” the Downtown that started over 10 years ago seems to have died and judged by actions, this was a low priority in the previous council.  On King Street West alone, I count 10 current listings of downtown properties, some for multiple buildings.  There is negative… Read complete articleKing Street West Update

What’s Happening at the Mall

The short answer is “Not much”. I called the Mall Leasing VP and all I got was “No we’re not planning any residential”.  If you look at what they say online, you’ll see that Michael’s is coming soon, that another “pad” is planned next to the LCBO and that there are a lot of vacancies.  Before the pandemic, Rainbow cinema was planning an expansion but right now they are working on reduced hours with two shows on 4 days, one matinee on Sundays and closed Mondays and Wednesdays.  Although many spaces are empty (but not all), some others are getting renovated (see photos below).  It’s not clear where Michael’s is going: Trinity’s map shows them on the East side of… Read complete articleWhat’s Happening at the Mall

Community Improvement Plan – Awards from 2021 Budget

It seems that Council believes that affordable housing requires that the Town provide subsidies by way of grants, loans and waiving fees.  The way to do this is to create a “Community Improvement Plan” directed at affordable housing.  After a consultant’s study and public meetings, such a plan was approved in November 2020 (see Resources below).  The process to implement it was then approved in June of 2021 and inputs were requested from developers to obtain the 2021 budget of $250,000.  An ad hoc committee was created to review the applications and at the CoW on 6 September, 2022 one recipient was finally approved:  Balder Corporation was awarded $248K in grants and loans.  This was ratified at the Regular Council… Read complete articleCommunity Improvement Plan – Awards from 2021 Budget

Fire Damage to 93 Albert Required it to be Demolished

On Friday July 15, there were two fires in Cobourg in houses up for sale (see reports by Today’s Northumberland in Resources below).  One was at 93 Albert whose owners were recently before Council asking for permission to demolish.  Staff had recommended demolition but some councillors (led by Emily Chorley and Nicole Beatty) felt that the building should be preserved for its heritage value and that it was simply a matter that it was not economic. The building had been abandoned since 2000 so it was described as being demolished by neglect – but Emily and Nicole were determined that the owners would not get away with this (even though the current owners only recently acquired the property). Mayor John… Read complete articleFire Damage to 93 Albert Required it to be Demolished

Northam Industrial Park – Status Q1, 2022

In March 2003, when the Mayor was Peter Delanty, the Town of Cobourg purchased Northam Industrial park with a loan (mortgage).  In March 2018, the full amount of $13,330,027 of this loan was repaid.  Over the period to date, the revenue earned has contributed to the Town’s operating and Capital Budgets – details below.  Each quarter, treasurer Ian Davey provides a report on the finances and the Q1 2022 report was provided at the CoW meeting on July 11.  Included in that report was some financial information not usually provided: the total contribution from the Park to the Town’s finances.  Some people have said that the Town should be run like a business and it’s clear that this is already… Read complete articleNortham Industrial Park – Status Q1, 2022

Queensview Development to Continue

In 2018, Council agreed to a deal where the parking lot at 36 Queen (opposite the Post Office) would be sold to a developer who would then build Condos that included public parking spaces as well as spaces for residents.  The original deal allowed the public parking spaces to be charged at a rate no more than twice Town rates.  The 5 storey condos would be “high end” with a roof top garden – see the presentation by the developer in resources below.  The time frame for this project expired due to Covid as well as planning department delays but the developer continued work on it.  At Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Council agreed to an extension (which… Read complete articleQueensview Development to Continue

New Development – Albert and Division

In early 2021, a developer asked for permission for their plans for the Property at the southwest corner of Albert and Division.  They proposed two buildings – one on Division and the second smaller one on Albert.  On the ground floors, they plan seven commercial units (stores) facing Division and 3 “live/work” units facing Albert plus a total of 20 apartments on second and third floors.  A public meeting was held and a big concern was that there was insufficient parking – 28 spaces compared to a normal zoning requirement for 45.  At the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on Monday May 30, a revised proposal will be presented that has 35 parking spaces.  The new plan, which has… Read complete articleNew Development – Albert and Division