Licensing Airbnb in Cobourg

At the Council meeting on June 28, 2021, Cobourg resident Anne-Marie Jackson complained about problems from an Airbnb establishment on Blake Street.  She had concerns about parking, parties with loud and disruptive guests, drug and criminal activity  (and as a result, increased police activity) and noise. Complaints to Airbnb went unanswered.  She also included a petition from 35 residents.  As a result, Council directed staff to investigate regulating Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) and present their report at the November 15 Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting.  The Agenda for the October 25 CoW meeting includes this report – it’s early!  Staff reviewed the options and recommend both a revision of the Zoning By-Law and the establishment of a requirement to license… Read complete articleLicensing Airbnb in Cobourg

Tannery Master Plan once again before Council

The Tannery Project has a long history.  The property at the north end of George and near the railway line originally was home to a factory for James Crossen to build railway carriages and subsequently as a place for tanning hides – hence the name.  But the building was abandoned and the Town eventually took ownership because of unpaid taxes and tried several times to ask developers to take it on (see Stephen Peacock’s background report in links below).  This did not work so the Town expanded the scope and decided that the area should be subject to a CIP (Community Improvement Plan) and a secondary plan which mandates a residential sustainable development.  This too has been slow to be… Read complete articleTannery Master Plan once again before Council

William Academy Expanding

The private school now occupying what used to be CDCI West wants to build accommodation for its students.  They have bought adjacent properties – 125-129 King St. W. and 209 Hibernia St – and want to demolish them and build new buildings in their place.  The King Street property was previously “Sleep Made Simple” and the Hibernia property had a succession of businesses on the ground floor and a rental unit upstairs (see photos below).   The application for demolition was presented to Town staff and staff recommendations were presented to the Heritage Advisory Committee who endorsed them and will ask Council to endorse them at the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting. Basically, they agreed to the demolition but… Read complete articleWilliam Academy Expanding

Planning Update – Summer 2021

One of the more interesting things to learn from Council meetings is the status of projects going through the Planning and Development Department.  The Councillor with the Planning portfolio is Nicole Beatty and once again she gave a comprehensive report at Monday’s Council meeting.  You can see her full report in the Links below but with 42 items, let me summarize highlights.  For some reason, there are a lot more projects than usual or expected this year. The dollar value of “planning applications in the Planning & Development Services Division already sits at just over 121% of revenue budgeted for all of 2021”.  And in the middle of this surge in work, Director Glenn McGlashon has announced his retirement effective… Read complete articlePlanning Update – Summer 2021

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… Read complete articleZoning of Rehabilitation Centres

Cobourg Planning Department Busy

There are three new residential developments coming to Cobourg, one new commercial development and more details are being provided on a previously planned commercial development.  One notification was at the Council meeting on June 28 and four will be at the Committee of the Whole meeting on July 19.  The three residential developments require public meetings and must be approved (or not) in 120 days or the applicant could refer the matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal (previously the OMB).  The two commercial developments have 30 days and no public meetings – so we can expect a fairly quick response. One of the applications includes a large, five storey apartment building with 86 units and these could be condos or… Read complete articleCobourg Planning Department Busy

Cobourg House Prices Steady

In June, house prices in Cobourg stayed close to their record highs – despite talk of a housing price bubble which would suggest a drop.  According to the Northumberland Hills Association of Realtors, the average sale price of a house in the area in June was $849,437.  (Note that Northumberland Hills includes Port Hope, Hamilton and Cramahe as well as Cobourg).  Only 130 units were sold in the area, down 14.5% from June 2020 although this volume  is 12.1% above the five-year average.  Year to date, home sales totaled a record 749 units – this is up by 36.4% from the same period in 2020.  The graph below compares the trend with prices in the GTA and it’s clear that… Read complete articleCobourg House Prices Steady

Update on Developments – Part 2

Councillor Nicole Beatty’s report was long so I divided it into two parts – the first part being published on Tuesday, May 18, and this being part two.  A couple of projects are in both reports but most are additional.  These reports are abbreviated from Nicole’s full report (see link below) – mostly by removing references to paperwork but Nicole notes that some required paper work is being delayed because of a backlog at the Land Registry Office. We should also be aware that the actual sources of Nicole’s report are no doubt Director Glenn McGlashon and his staff.  Note also that planning staff have a comprehensive list of relevant documents  on the Town’s web site – see link below…. Read complete articleUpdate on Developments – Part 2

Update on Developments – May 2021

At Regular Council meetings, Councillors are asked to provide reports in their role as coordinator. At Monday’s meeting, Councillor Nicole Beatty, Coordinator of Planning and Development Services,  gave a full report on activity in the Planning Department.  Some projects are slow getting through the process but there are a lot of them for a small town.  So if you wondered what happened to that development you heard about, this article (and a second one in a couple of days) will provide an update.  Nicole’s report is divided into 1) Subdivisions, 2) Site Plan Approvals, 3) Heritage and 4) Special Projects.  This first article will cover Site Plan Approvals and their status.  Many have been the subject of previous articles –… Read complete articleUpdate on Developments – May 2021

Possible Town Land for Affordable Housing

Cobourg has a Town-wide Community Improvement Plan that targets affordable housing. Clause 3.8.8 says that the Town could provide some of the land it owns at a low price so as to effectively subsidize such housing and at meetings in November 2020,  Council asked staff to “put together an inventory of potential municipal-owned surplus lands, buildings and/or facilities” to potentially be used for this purpose.  At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 19, Staff will be providing this requested report.  Based on information in the Town’s GIS System (Geographical Information System), the Town owns “a total of ~226 ha (558 ac) of land within the municipal boundary or just over 10% of the total land area of the… Read complete articlePossible Town Land for Affordable Housing