Letter for Open House - 141-149 Main Street East

Craig Tallman, Grimsby Resident

Re: Mixed-use proposal at 141-149 Main Street East

April 6, 2021

Good day:

To begin, thank you Mayor Jordan for giving me 2 opportunities to address Monday evening’s meeting. Obviously I will have to correct my desktop’s microphone problem before any future attempt.

I should also start off by stating that I have lived in Grimsby from 1963 to 1977 and from late 2001 to the present. In the intervening years (1978 to 2001) I visited family here in town on an almost monthly basis. So I feel confident in stating that I am a long time resident of Grimsby and that I have seen a great many changes to what we used to have as a comfortable, friendly small town.

I oppose the Cole’s site plan re-development for the reasons previously forwarded to Councillors Bothwell and Sharpe, which are the basically the Save Main Street East’s wordings. However I would like to add the following comments.

I believe that the developer/proponent’s plans are purposely disingenuous or deceptive in the following ways.

  1. Putting one and only 1 commercial venue into the project in order to justify the project as being within the Neighbourhood Commercial Area. I believe that this was one of the points that Councilor Sharpe was attempting to make - and is a Very Good one at that. If this site is to become a mixed-use commercial - residential area, provide for the commercial aspect with more venues and the parking to support them.

  2. I noted that the Wentworth Drive view of the back side of this project was much more of a “top-down” view rather than a ground up approach. Again, this is more than a tad deceptive on the developer’s part. Yes, they are showing a row of trees along the back, or north side of the project’s parking lot. However having a 7 story building looking down into the back yards and homes on Wentworth will NOT be made private by a row of newly planted trees. As I am sure both you and the proponent knows, it will take decades for these trees to grow tall enough to provide privacy for the homes on Wentworth Drive and even then it will only occur in the summer-early fall months when the trees’ canopy are in full leaf. For the winter and spring months, as we are in right now, the residents of Wentworth Drive homes will be living in a fishbowl. I make this point as a result of personal experience in our own back yard given its unique, sloped structure and the views our own neighbours have of it. It is a surprise to me that Wentworth Drive residents have not raised this point themselves as I suspect that living in such a fishbowl might inhibit the resale value of these existing homes. If this project is approved it will be terribly unfair to these existing town residents.

  3. As with other residents’ comments on Monday, I do not believe that Hwy 8/Main Street East is wide enough to safely accommodate the increased traffic of at least 215 vehicles on a daily basis. And if Main Street East is to be widened, even with only a centre turn lane, it raises the question of where does this widening start and where does it end? Both the start and end will create choke points for traffic.

  4. Additionally with regard to Main Street East, as a recent convert to bicycle riding, I can attest to the fact that, in my opinion, the current road is NOT safe enough for bicycle riding in either direction. On top of the width of Main Street East there are simply too many ingress and egress points from Nelles Road to the WLMH entranceway to make me (at least) feel safe and comfortable riding along this stretch.

  5. The Official Plan and Zoning amendments requested will, as Councilor Sharpe pointed out, result in a building which will be just a fraction under three (3) times what the Town has allowed for. If this project proceeds as planned, what is the point of Grimsby having an Official Plan and its Zoning By-laws at all? They simply become “nice to look at, what we hope the town looks like” documents. In addition, if this project proceeds on Main Street East, when will a similar project (whether wanted or not) come to us on Main Street West, or anywhere else in town? The people of Grimsby, through our Council, will have no control over our own community if this precedent is allowed to proceed.

As an alternative, may I enlarge upon and amend Veronica Charrois’ idea of an old Village Inn style of housing? I would change Ms. Charrois’ idea by putting any commercial establishments on the ground floor and the residential units on upper floors. And yes, in order to help the developer make its profit projections, make these units a combination of 3 and 4 bedroom luxury units to command a higher price per unit. This means a 3rd and possibly a 4th floor for at least part of the project, but it would be far less intrusive to Wentworth Drive residents and far more in keeping with the heritage view of Main Street East. If further profit incentive is required, allow the developer/proponent greater density in another, non-Main Street, project here in town, such as the GSS school site once housing is started there.

The projected Losani building looks very nice IF he builds it in Burlington or Oakville. It does NOT belong on Main St. East, Grimsby.

Thank you in advance for your time,
Craig Tallman


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