School annex zoning change approved

 In News

Clearview council has approved a zoning change at the former Nottawasaga and Creemore Public School annex at 35 Caroline Street West, from institutional to low and high density residential.

The decision advances a proposal to develop single family dwellings on four existing residential lots of record and the conversion of the existing school building to 11 condominiums.

There is a hold on the development which would be removed once a site plan is approved.

The building will be subject to a condominium application and the residential lots of record will be subject to the regular infilling processes. This will require a grading and fill application and architectural control, and they will also be subject to a NVCA permit prior to the building permit being issued.

Outgoing Creemore area councillor Thom Paterson said heritage preservation is paramount in reviewing the proposal.

“The old school building should be preserved and repurposed to continue to serve our community as it has since 1917. It should stand as a remembrance of those who attended and helped build our community,” he said during Monday’s council meeting. “My hope is that the exterior is substantially preserved, including the bell tower.”

He said he agrees that adding housing choices is a good way of repurposing the property.

“This evening we are only asked to approve the rezoning to a residential use. There is support and concerns for the development,” continued Paterson. “Ensuring that the development is a good fit in the community and that it does not impact the safety and wellbeing of the existing neighbourhood property owners is part of the site plan control process that follows on from the amending of the zoning bylaw.”

He said noise, lighting, buffering, parking and traffic impacts will be among the planning process.

“Viewing the project through a climate lens, due regard also needs to be given to our two-zone hazard land special overlay policy as this site is located wholly within the Mad River regulatory flood boundary,” said Paterson. “Repurposing the old school building, protecting the existing property owners in the surrounding neighbourhood from natural hazard impacts and adding more housing choices Creemore are not mutually exclusive objectives. I urge all three principal parties to this development, the township, the NVCA and Fennelwood Developments to work towards a mutually beneficial final plan that meets and respects their objectives and regulatory mandates.”

After the meeting, Paterson added that he also hopes the municipality will ensure the school’s historic charm is preserved.

“The township should give serious consideration to taking the steps to identify, designate and protect the cultural heritage features of this historic old school building under the Ontario Heritage Act,” he said.

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