Gore Bay council gives its approval for housing development proposal

GORE BAY – Gore Bay council has given its approval to a zoning bylaw amendment to allow for two four-unit multiple dwellings constructed within the town.

“There is definitely a housing shortage issue in town,” said Jeff Gilmore of Martian Properties Inc. at a public meeting held this past Monday in the Town of Gore Bay council chambers. The housing units will be for at rent he said, pointing out “the first one we are planning to construct would be open in the spring (2020).” He said no deadline has been determined for construction of the second four-unit multiple dwelling at this time. 

Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne had opened up the public meeting by stating, “this is an open public meeting to hear (from the proponent) on a requested zoning bylaw amendment. An application has been made by Jeff Gilmore on behalf of Martian Properties Inc. to allow for an amendment to allow for two commercial buildings two four-unit multiple dwellings currently in the general commercial zone.”

When asked exactly where the units will be constructed Mr. Gilmore explained, “on the road on the way into the current inn on the east side of the road going into it. It would be located probably about 50 yards from the area of East Street that goes up the hill.” 

“The reason we are looking for a zoning amendment is that the property is currently zoned general commercial which does not allow full kitchen facilities in each unit,” said Mr. Gilmore. “We want this in place so that families and those wanting to rent the units will have (full kitchen facilities) in their unit.” The building will be 164 feet long and 28 feet wide.

It was pointed out by Gore Bay Clerk Annette Clarke the property is currently zoned general commercial zoning. “The Manitoulin Planning Board is suggesting we carry pass the zoning bylaw amendment request.”  She noted as well, “we received a letter today from a neighbouring resident who was concerned that the development will result in a loss of view from their property right across the street from the proposed multiple unit buildings. 

Mike Argue, a resident of 5 East Street wrote in his letter to council, “regarding the above proposed amendment, I wish to voice not necessarily my opposition, but concerns I have. Currently I am very fortunate to enjoy a structure-free view of the harbour and North Channel and also privacy from the woods bordering the north side of East Street. Privacy with a view, which I believe contributes greatly to the value of my home. Value I believe that would diminish significantly should I be forced to look at the backside of an apartment building or roof line.”

“It would be my hope that if it was necessary to change the zoning and if any new buildings were constructed, consideration would be taken into them being laid out in a manner in which to blend in with the environment with no visible change to the landscape for others,” said Mr. Argue.

However, Mr. Gilmore explained that the proposed development, “does not obstruct their view. I don’t believe where the building will be located that it will impact at all on the sight lines (for Mr. Argue). The buildings will not impact on the view (of Mr. Argue) whatsoever.” 

Marjorie Sinclair told the meeting, “I had received a letter inviting me here tonight. I have some concerns; I’m at 2 Water Street across the street (from the proposed development). I’m not opposed to the town going forward, we need industry and to build the town up. But I would like answers to some of my concerns.” She asked how the proposed development will affect the water-sewer system. “Are we able to supply both to all units or will it affect our pressure? Years ago we had to pay extra for these services.”

“There is capacity for the sewer system,” said Mr. Gilmore, and Ms. Clarke stated, “there are no issues.”

Ms. Sinclair raised concerns about noise pollution for neighbours with the construction of the building taking place. 

“Any type of construction is going to have a certain amount of noise,” said Mr. Gilmore. “The first building is going to be a prefab building; it will come in sections and after a couple of weeks of work it will be standing in place.” 

On the issue of noise pollution, Ms. Clarke pointed out the town has a noise bylaw in place that would basically curtail construction noise from taking place after 7 pm.

After Mr. Gilmore appeased a couple of more concerns Ms. Sinclair raised she said, “I would like to welcome you to Gore Bay, and the building units. We certainly do need housing in Gore Bay.”

Lou Addison asked about how many bedrooms each of the four unit buildings will have in them. “There will be two two-bedroom, and two three-bedroom units,” said Mr. Gilmore. He noted as well the apartment units will be for rent at market value.

“Will the second unit be a prefab building as well?” asked Councillor Paulie Nodecker.

Mr. Gilmore explained, “we have not decided on this as of yet.” He told council as well there will be ample parking at the two building units, and noted the units will not have garages attached to them.

Council passed a motion later in the meeting, approving the zoning bylaw amendment for the proposed development.