HOME NEWS OPINIONS SUPPORT US THAT'S CHARACTER! SPEAK UP!
We’ve heard many concerns from the community about this application, residents are not happy with this proposed development on Main Street East.
If you are asking what can be done about it, you now have your first opportunity to act! A Public Open House for the proposed development has been scheduled by the Town for March 29th at 6:00 PM via Zoom.
For those new to the matter, this is the site where Cole’s Florist and Garden Centre currently operates. In 2020, this commercial property was purchased by Losani Homes.
This developer is looking to demolish the two historic buildings currently on the site, additionally asking for amendments to the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law to permit the construction of a seven storey condominium.
According to the Planning Justification Report provided with the application, a total of 254 parking spaces are proposed - a 23% reduction from the minimum of 330 spaces required under the town’s by-laws to accommodate the vehicles of residents, visitors, employees and customers (note the inconsistency with the 266 parking spots provided in the site-plan). On top of that, the traffic generated on Main Street could not be studied nor represented properly because of COVID closures and lack of accurate historic data points. Instead, the applicant’s traffic report estimates were based on a 2017 count adjusted with a growth rate of 2% per year.
Did you notice a four lane Main Street East in the application renderings? That image raised huge concerns with residents wondering if the developer knows more than the public about how much development the Region may be anticipating for this area. The proposal’s transportation report sheds some light into that concern, stating that:
“During the pre-study consultation, Town and Region staff confirmed there were no future roadway improvements in the study area, such as changes in traffic control or road widenings”
It’s more likely that the developer is trying very hard to tick the box of “human scale design”, by faking a larger street setting to fool the eye.
This development is obviously competing with the neighbouring five storey condo proposed for the Grout Nelles historic home (133 Main Street East), to become the new “landmark” on Main Street East. It would solidify a high-density mixed-use precedent in the area, while claiming that this intensification “is sensitive to the surrounding context” contributing to “a strong sense of place”. Which place, may we ask?
Looking at the stretched-out renderings taken from flattering angles, we found it difficult to envision the scale of this proposal in the context of the area. To see the real difference, we’ve drawn a comparison between the elevation provided in the Urban Design brief, and elevation drawings of former applications for a couple of neighbouring buildings on the other side of the street.
Did you just have a “WOW moment”? That’s what we thought, too. This huge structure will not only have a major impact on the historic character of Main Street, it will obliterate it. It’s a seven storey massive construction, currently surrounded by low profile commercial structures, historic buildings and townhomes.
One important “detail” that seemed to be overlooked in this application and the competitive five storey adjoining proposal, is that Main Street East is NOT designated as an intensification area anywhere, from Robinson Street east to the Beamsville municipal border.
It’s not that a developer can’t build anything on these sites. Smaller scale infill is encouraged throughout town through our Official Plan. The existing by-law restrictions in height and lot coverage were made for a reason: to balance new development with the historic aspect of Main Street while being sensitive to the surrounding housing character. But these two proposals’ increases in heights and densities rival even the ones set for the ONLY two major intensification areas in Grimsby: the Downtown and the Casablanca interchange areas, which according to our Official Plan Section 126.96.36.199 “[…] will be the primary focus for intensification […]”.
No matter how much the developer tries to justify it, this high-density mixed-use development does not belong on Grimsby’s historic Main Street, which is identified as a priority for heritage protection in the Town’s Official Plan:
8.0. CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY
8.15. The Town shall undertake heritage plans and programs in accordance with a system of priorities. In particular, the following shall be identified as priorities for the Town:
b) The protection of the Main Street corridor
If approved by Council, this development will cause significant change to the cultural heritage, fabric, and character of Grimsby’s Main Street East. Either of these proposals, if approved, will set the precedent making the area indefensible at LPAT, crushing any hope of future, long overdue protection for its character.
It’s YOUR town, YOUR Main Street. Get involved and be vocal!
Tell Council that this development is not appropriate for Grimsby’s historic Main Street East. Ask Council to protect Main Street East from over-development. Ask Mr. Losani to rethink the application and come back with a smaller proposal, compatible in mass and scale with the existing surrounding buildings.
Register with the Town to speak at this meeting before noon, March 26th, emailing your request to Nancy Simon at email@example.com. If you are unable to speak, send a message to the Planning Department, Council and the Mayor with your comments, and ask it be included for consideration at the Open House. To make things easier, we have included a template letter that you can use as a starting point.
Now, we know that a few Councillors have attempted to reject the validity of a position expressed by residents through templated messages. However, these are serious matters being decided, and not writing contests meant to please those we elected to represent us. At the end of the day, how we express our opinion is irrelevant, as long as we do so respectfully. It’s your right!
Re: Development Application at 141-149 Main Street East
I am writing this letter to express my concern regarding the development at 141-149 Main Street East.
I hereby state my opposition to the proposed development in that:
- The proposed development is over-intensification of the site.
- The proposed development is not "sensitive to the surrounding housing character".
- The proposed development does not respect or protect "the small-town character and feel of Grimsby".
- The proposed development does not "protect Grimsby’s culture and heritage".
- The proposed development does not respect or "maintain the existing streetscape character of Main Street East".
I respectfully request that this Council not permit the development as proposed and require the developer to scale down the mass of the proposal, respect the existing streetscape character, and adhere to the maximum allowable building height of 8.5m for the existing Neighbourhood Commercial Area zoning.
I would ask that my comments be presented for consideration by the applicant at this Open House.
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You can find the application documents on the new Town’s engagement platform at https://www.letstalkgrimsby.ca/141-149-main-street-east.
Send us your thoughts and we’ll publish them right here for everyone to see: