Council considers bending guidelines for ground-floor residence in Mount Forest

KENILWORTH – A developer is asking council to make an exception to Wellington North’s zoning bylaw prohibiting ground-floor residential makes use of in business zones.

Cordon Canada Ltd., the proprietor of 250 Most important Avenue in downtown Mount Forest, needs to demolish and take away the remaining constructing on its property, the location of a former restaurant.

The corporate needs to assemble a brand new two-floor constructing with business and residential on the bottom ground, and full residential above.

Wellington County senior planner Matthieu Daoust, presenting a planning report back to council on behalf of the township on Feb. 6, mentioned there’s no concern with an exception being made to permit for a shorter driveway than regular.

Nevertheless, he suggested towards permitting the ground-floor residential unit.

In September 2022, a “housekeeping modification” was made to the township’s zoning bylaw prohibiting ground-floor residential makes use of in business zones.

The bylaw beforehand permitted half of a floor ground for use residentially inside business zones.

Architectural designer Alam Makur, showing remotely on behalf of Cordon Canada Ltd., mentioned the change was made after planning paperwork had been submitted to the township.

“Not permitting this may require us to revamp and re-plan,” Makur mentioned.

“This might not be a great consequence for us since [we] may lose some key stakeholders.”

Councillor Penny Renken requested what that meant.

Makur spoke vaguely in regards to the residential portion “being a key curiosity” for the unnamed “stakeholders.”

In response to a query from councillor Sherry Burke about lowering the residential footprint to develop the business portion, Makur mentioned it might be lowered to a single-bedroom or bachelor.

Mayor Andy Lennox advised deferring a call on whether or not to grant an exception to the foundations till the applicant returned with a revamped ground plan.

Councillor Steve McCabe advocated for deferral to “see if there’s one thing extra we will do to assist him out.”

However he mentioned he wouldn’t approve residential on the principle ground, “particularly within the central enterprise district.”

Councillor Sherry Burke advocated for permitting the residential portion, with a caveat or not it’s “significantly smaller.”

“We discuss the truth that we’d like totally different varieties and totally different worth ranges for attainable housing, so possibly this offers a chance for decrease rental charges if the lodging is smaller,” Burke rationalized.

Renken agreed, reiterating the design had been submitted when ground-floor residential was permitted inside business contexts.

“I’m pleased to have a lowered quantity used for the residential,” Renken mentioned.

Councillor Lisa Hern advocated for full ground-level business use within the curiosity of “vibrant foremost streets.”

“Nevertheless, appreciating that the phrases of engagement form of modified half method by way of, I do agree with councillor Burke’s suggestion of a compromise,” she mentioned.

Lennox proposed the residential portion be restricted to 25 per cent of the complete footprint.

“If that’s a aim that we might work in direction of, I believe I’d be extra supportive of it as properly,” the mayor mentioned.

Burke put ahead a movement, carried by council, to defer a remaining choice till a brand new ground plan for the bottom stage might be returned.