PORT STANLEY VILLAGE ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 3
Port Stanley Ontario N5L 1J4
March 1, 2016
Written Submissions of the Port Stanley Village Association (“PSVA”) to the Municipality
of Central Elgin (“Central Elgin”) in response to an application (the “Application”) which
is the subject of Central Elgin’s Notice of Meeting dated January 29, 2016 on behalf of
Prespa Construction Limited (“Prespa”) concerning a Proposed Zoning By-law
Amendment with respect to
Lots 6-9 S/S Erie Street and Part of lot 15, W/S Sydenham, Plan 117, geographic Village of Port Stanley- 146-156 William Street (“Property”)
Summary of our submission
For reasons outlined below, the PSVA:
a) opposes the Application, but
b) would consider a revised proposal for a project in keeping with the scale, density and traditional character of Port Stanley and the community design policies of the Central Elgin Official Plan (Section 18.104.22.168).
We consider that, as currently conceived, the proposed development would have an enduring adverse impact on the quality of life of current and future residents, businesses, tourism, our heritage and the economic health of our Village and of Central Elgin. The PSVA submits that judicious development will ensure the continuing and growing prosperity of our Village and our Municipality, and that new development should be in accord with our traditional and unique character.
In this regard, the PSVA supports reasonable density and height and also recognizes the desirability and need to revitalize William Street. It also recognizes that more housing and a variety of housing options is needed which in turn will sustain existing businesses, bring new business and increase the tax base.
However, the nine storey condominium development proposed by Prespa in the heart of Main Beach would conflict with the traditional character of the Village and negatively impact residents and our vital tourism industry. Furthermore, the development as proposed is inconsistent with a number of provisions of the Official Plan for Central Elgin.
Official Plan for Central Elgin
Under the Planning Act, any amendment to the Zoning By-law adopted by Council or, on appeal, approved by the Ontario Municipal Board, must conform to the Official Plan in effect. In this instance, that means the Official Plan of the Municipality of Central Elgin (the “Official Plan”) adopted by Council on
February 21 2012 and approved in 2013, and the Official Plan of the County of Elgin.
Section 2.10.3 of the Official Plan has particular application and relevance to the proposed development. This section is new to planning in the Village of Port Stanley, having no counterpart in the former Official Plan of the Village that was repealed when the new Central Elgin Official Plan came into effect in 2013. It reflects the strong desire of the community and Council to ensure that new development is in keeping with the traditional character of the Village. It states as follows:
Through the review of development applications, Central Elgin...
...will ensure that new development is designed in keeping with the traditional character of the Settlement Areas in a manner that both preserves their traditional community image and enhances their sense of place within Central Elgin .[Section 22.214.171.124 b) Community Design – Policies]
Character and Density
As the following photographs illustrate, the traditional character of the Village of Port Stanley is defined largely by its built-form. The Village is almost entirely comprised of wood frame cottages, many converted to year round occupancy, and conventional single family dwellings. The height of existing non-residential buildings does not exceed 3.5 stories and residential dwellings seldom more than 2.5 stories. Most buildings are clad in wood or similar-looking vinyl, aluminum or manufactured products, with pitched roofs. Many have screened-in verandahs and over-sized porches. Masonry construction (i.e. brick, stucco) is uncommon, being found primarily in relatively recently built subdivisions on the periphery of the Village.
At a height of 9 stories, a density of 88 units per hectare and with its contemporary design, the proposed building is not in keeping with the traditional character of the village or of a scale and design which complements its traditional community image. The density proposed is 2.5 times the high density threshold as established by the Official Plan, being 35 units per hectare.
Even the developer’s own Planner, Zelinka Priamo Ltd., acknowledges the incongruence of the proposed building, stating in its Planning Justification Report dated October 9, 2015 that:
...the scale of the building is beyond what currently exists in the area... and the proposed apartment building represents a significant increase in massing, scale, and intensity in the area. (pps 16 &19)
Simply put, the proposed building is inappropriate, out of character and out of scale with the existing development in the village and, does nothing whatsoever in terms of responding to the fundamental design principle governing new development expressed by the Official Plan (Section 126.96.36.199b)).
The matter of density is addressed in the Official Plan and what will be required of developers proposing medium or high density development. The proposed development, at 88 units/ha, falls within the realm of high density development. The Official Plan requires that in the case of medium or high density development:
...The proposed design of the residential development is compatible in scale with the character of the surrounding uses. [Section 4.2.2c) 1.]
A full copy of this presentation can be downloaded by clicking here >> PSVA Submission
PSVA Submission to Central Elgin in response to an application dated January 29, 2016 on behalf of Prespa Construction Limited