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New development by Penetanguishene waterfront set to revitalize and reclaim brownfield

“It's a redevelopment of a marina and our waterfront,” says director of planning and community development.

A residential development aimed at revitalizing a brownfield and a marina by Bay Moorings received the nod from council’s committee of the whole at this month’s meeting.

Staff brought forward a zoning amendment bylaw for the property between 176 and 200 Fox Street that would allow the waterfront location to be developed as residential, with a scaled-back marina.

“They've proposed a development that's a mixed-residential, from single (homes) to detached townhouses to apartments,” said Andrea Betty, director of planning and community development, noting this is good news for the town.

“Penetanguishene is an area that is intended to be growing under Places to Grow Act and the development plan,” Betty said. “The marina property has gone through redevelopment and given the historic use of the property, there are some public interest conditions they've met by cleaning up the property.”

The subdivision draft plan shows 11 blocks of residential units. Three of those are proposed to have 28 single-detached homes, another block will contain 20 townhouses and a further two blocks will be built as condominiums. One block of land has been designated for the marina, which will be accompanied by two pieces of land used as waterlots. Two additional pieces are designated residential and another piece of property is being marked off for recreational uses. 

Betty explained in her report to council that the town received two applications from the developers last year. The first one received in February requested a zoning bylaw amendment with a subsequent subdivision draft plan arriving in August. 

After reviewing all supporting work and documents submitted by the developer, staff declared the application complete under the Planning Act and proceeded with a statutory public meeting in October.

“For the most part, people were fairly supportive of it. There were some concerns with respect to whether the new development would fit in with that area of town, said Betty, who pointed out that there are similar properties across the street.

Construction timing and duration were another big concern, but staff notes taken at the meeting indicate the developer's representative said that construction should begin in mid-2020 and the duration subject to the market.

Residents also worried about the height of the condominiums.

In its comments, town staff wrote the maximum height permitted by the zoning is for four storeys, but the developer noted the proposal features three-storey buildings with a loft built into the roof line.

Others were concerned about the proposed recreational facility and its availability to the general public. The developer representative said that since the 5,300-square-foot-recreational facility was being contracted out to Parkbridge, the limit of use would depend on them.

“It's a redevelopment opportunity,” said Betty. "They're still redeveloping the marina so it's not like we've lost that function or draw to the town."

The site will be cleaned up, which is a good thing, she added, and even though the marina part of the development isn't owned by the town, it’s still a tourist attraction. 

“If people can get there in their boats and moor there, they're likely going to visit Penetanguishene,” she said. "They'll have their friends up to Penetanguishene on their boats. So it offers that commercial aspect and the tourism aspect to the town."

The amendment is expected to be ratified by council at its next meeting on March 11.