No approval for Arthur Meighen site

Will be sent back to PAC

With approximately 100 people in attendance on Tuesday at the Town Hall auditorium, Council heard a variety of thoughts on the proposed seniors development planned for the former Arthur Meighen property on Wellington Street North. The developer called it “the ideal location” for the complex which will be 5 stories on the north end, and would include 180 apartments with a combination of both seniors apartments and assisted living units.

Support for the project in the form of correspondence came from the Staffen family and the St. Marys Golf and Country Club and the Presbyterian Church Enduring Mission Legacy Fund. Meanwhile, the majority attending the meeting were residents of the north ward who oppose the project.

A ratepayers group led by Henry Monteith outlined many objections to the proposed new complex. Monteith said Council should treat this project the same way they did with the West Ward School, which Council said all future plans should be compatible with the neighbourhood. Sarah Tierney, a planning lawyer, told Council the proposed: building is not compatible with the area and is an over development. Other concerns were about the developer trying to maximize profits with the amount of units proposed; a danger to Holy Name students using Egan Ave with extra traffic; the new building not being a good fit for the neighbourhood, which is residential; could be a detriment as far as environmental issues are concerned; a concern about the accuracy of a study by the developer that there is a need in the area for this type of development; a concern that if out of town seniors move into the new building it could have a negative impact on local hospital services; and there was a concern that the Fire Department could not handle a fire for a building 5 stories high.

On this point, Fire Chief Richard Anderson told Council that the Fire Department could handle an emergency for such a building but that equipment would need to be upgraded for the future.

As a result of the comments from the public, Council approved the following: Town Planner Mark Stone will prepare a report in conjunction with staff, and make  recommendations which will then be sent to the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) who will then make a recommendation to Council to either approve or reject the project.

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