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City approves site plans with 132 new housing units

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Four residential development plans approved Monday by Owen Sound council call for a combined 132 new housing units – a majority of which are to be rentals, with a plan to also include up to two dozen affordable units.

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Council gave conditional site plan approval to Barry’s Construction to build a five-storey, 79-unit apartment on vacant land on 28th Street West.

Community services director Pam Coulter said the Allenford company is planning to make up to 24 of the units affordable, subject to funding from the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp.

All of the units will be rentals, exempting the project from the city’s development charges bylaw. Without the exemption, the fees would be $388,000.

“I’d like to think this development is a result of the action we took on development charges as a council,” Coun. Richard Thomas said.

“I think it’s great to finally see some of these developments coming. I know we have another number of apartment complexes in the hopper, so to speak, that will be coming and we certainly need the spaces in this market.”

Twelve of the units will be accessible, Coulter said.

Council also conditionally approved two site plan applications for Andpet Realty’s East Court Residences subdivision near 16th Avenue East.

One of the applications calls for the construction of 36 cluster townhouse units in eight buildings at 1457 14th St. E., while the other proposes 11 life-lease townhouse units in three buildings at 1300-1396 15th Ave. E.

The cluster townhomes are to be rentals, so that development would also be exempt from development fees, which would be $224,028 for that type of project.

Council also approved, with conditions, a site plan from Graham Construction’s Sound Lifestyles Ltd., which is proposing to build a three-storey, six-unit life-lease building at 2347 3rd Ave. W., overlooking Georgian Shores Marina.

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Life-lease projects are not exempt from development charges.

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Rezoning approved for 16th St. E. project

A Mississauga-based real estate company’s plan to create a multi-unit commercial development with a mix of restaurants and shops on 16th Street East in Owen Sound has taken a significant step forward.

City council approved an application from Thompson Centres Inc. to change the zoning of their property at 1960 16th St. E. from general industrial to retail commercial.

City officials say they anticipate the company will submit a site plan for the property within weeks.

The company proposes to erect four buildings on the property. Rezoning approval also facilitates the construction of a shared parking area, internal road system, landscaping and extension of 20th Avenue East, north of 16th Street East, according to a staff report to council.

The Thompson Centres website says the development will include a McDonald’s with drive-thru, set to open in summer 2022. Store openings are also available for 2022.

A staff report, presented to council, says a required market analysis to demonstrate the need for the proposed development and impact of the proposed uses on the commercial structure of the city and region has been submitted and peer-reviewed. The results are favourable, the report says, and have been incorporated into the proposed zoning amendment.

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City seeks art gallery work funding
Owen Sound is applying for federal funding to make the Tom Thomson Art Gallery more accessible.

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Council supported a staff recommendation to apply for Canada Community Revitalization Fund money to help upgrade the accessible ramp and front entrance at the gallery, replace the facility’s elevator and shaft and install new signs to promote exhibitions and gallery events.

A preliminary staff estimate for the work is $600,000. If the application is successful, the program will cover 75 per cent of eligible costs. The city’s roughly $150,000 contribution would then come from the 2022 capital budget.

Corporate services director Kate Allan said staff identified several projects that could be eligible for the one-time funding and ultimately agreed that the gallery improvements would be the “most appropriate project to meet the eligibility requirements of the program.”

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