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The site plan for the construction of a new shopping center on long-vacant land at Owen Sound’s “southern gateway” has been approved by council.

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On Monday, council voted 7 to 2 in favor of the site plan for the property at the southwest corner of 10and East Street and 9and Avenue East, which once housed a gas station, but has been vacant since 2005. The plans for the property at 889 10and St. E. includes an approximately 4,300 square foot mall containing three retail units, including a drive-thru restaurant.

Sarj Mehat, part of the owners’ team, 1948654 Ontario Inc., said Tuesday he doesn’t yet know when construction will begin, but hopes it will be this year.

“I am happy that it has been approved and I hope we can move on to the next stage of its construction now,” Mehat said.

He said he will have to consult with tenants and contractors before finalizing a timetable on when work will start.

“With COVID in the air, the world has changed and it’s not as easy as it used to be,” Mehat said. “The intentions are good, the property will be developed and it’s only a matter of time.”

Mehat said he could not yet disclose who the tenants of the property will be.

With the approval of the site plan, council directed staff to introduce a by-law to authorize the mayor and clerk to sign a site plan agreement, service agreement and any other items required to implement site plan approval.

The property has the Travelodge to the north on 10and Street East while Tim Hortons is east across 9and East Ave. The property adjoins residential homes to the west and south.

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In addition to the building, the property’s proposed site plan also includes 13 drive-thru waiting spaces, a 26-space parking lot, and two new right-hand and right-hand-only entrances from 10and East Street and 9and East Ave. The median out of 10and East Street must be extended to prevent illegal left turns into the property. There are plans for site maintenance, retaining walls and landscaping, according to a report in junior planner Jacklyn Iezzi’s Monday diary.

Because the property is in the area designated in the city’s official plan as the southern gateway to Owen Sound, the development requires “a high standard of urban design,” Iezzi’s report explains. The property is zoned Commercial Artery (C4).

Among the features incorporated into the site plan and landscape plan in support of this designation are the orientation of the building to the intersection “to create an attractive street edge”, with parking at the rear and to the side, wrought iron and masonry fencing consistent with the harbor and downtown areas and outdoor lighting along building facades, the report details.

A drawing of a proposed development for a vacant property at 889 10th St. E. On Monday, March 14, 2022, the Owen Sound City Council approved a site plan for the property which includes three commercial units, including a restaurant with drive-thru.
A drawing of a proposed development for a vacant property at 889 10th St. E. On Monday, March 14, 2022, the Owen Sound City Council approved a site plan for the property which includes three commercial units, including a restaurant with drive-thru. Photo provided

Landscaping is proposed and includes a mix of deciduous trees, coniferous and deciduous shrubs and perennials. It is also proposed to retain three existing trees along the west lot line.

Due to adjacent residential properties, an acoustic fence must be constructed along the west lot line, while the drive-thru is to be closed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Retaining walls should be constructed along the south and west rear area of ​​the property.

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On Thursday, some councilors raised concerns about the proposed development, including the high-traffic location, the frequency of collisions at the intersection and vehicle idling in the drive-thru.

Com. Scott Greig said he had significant concerns about the type of development.

“I thought it would be a great place for something like four or five story multi-residential housing, as we all know, which this community desperately needs,” said Greig, who also raised concerns about shortages. of labor and “another drive-thru only reduces the viability of existing alternative businesses.

Com. Carol Merton raised concerns about ‘information gaps’ regarding collisions at the intersection and an emissions assessment ‘particularly with a drive-thru’.

Community Services Director Pam Coulter said at Monday’s council meeting that a transportation impact study had been submitted, reviewed by city technical staff, and the findings were deemed acceptable. A noise study was also carried out. In 2010, the city’s comprehensive zoning ordinance was updated to prohibit new drive-thrus in the then downtown area, but drive-thru is permitted in other commercial areas both in the city’s official plan and zoning regulations, Coulter explained.

Many other councilors have spoken out in favor of the development, including Coun. Richard Thomas, who said it’s good to see a development coming up for a brownfield property in a high visibility location.

“Lately around this table, the idea has crept more and more into discussions that we should be telling developers what to develop in Owen Sound,” Thomas said. “I don’t see that as the board’s role.”

Deputy Mayor Brian O’Leary expressed support for the proposal, which meets all development standards and is consistent with the official plan and zoning by-law.

O’Leary said that in the past developers had been unwilling to work in the city because of the “board getting in the way”.

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