A rezoning application that could lead to the creation of 11 new apartments in a former service club community centre has been moved to North Bay City Council by its community services committee for a vote.
The vacant building at 327 Dudley Ave. — the former les Compagnons community centre — has been acquired by 2808138 Ontario Inc. The new property owner is seeking to redevelop the property into a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartment units in the existing structure.
See related: Les Compagnons building sold
According to the planning report, the proposed redevelopment of the property would see no changes to the existing building's footprint. The construction would be limited to interior renovations only.
The application elicited some correspondence from nearby residents opposing the planned conversion to apartments, mostly focused on concerns about on-street parking, noise, and the use of the building going against the character of the neighbourhood. No presentations in opposition were given.
Peter Carello, a senior planner with the City noted the proposed development had room for the required 17 parking spaces based on occupancy and it was the staff's opinion the redevelopment would fit into the character of the neighbourhood.
"It is also staff’s opinion that the use of the building as an 11-unit apartment should be less intrusive on the adjacent residential uses than the previous community centre use," according to Carello.
Coun. Mark King asked for more information of the property's designation as a "brownfield" site, typically reserved in planning matters for industrial or commercial applications.
Echoing his report and its relevance to the Provincial Policy Statement, Carello confirmed the vacant former community centre meets the definition of a brownfield site.
"The proposed conversion of this large, vacant structure into apartment units would represent the type of redevelopment encouraged by the Official Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement," he wrote.
Rick Miller, of Miller and Urso Surveying Inc., acted as the agent for the property owner and said it is hoped interior construction can begin this year, with approval.
Miller noted in-filling — and using the building in its current form — is preferable to tearing it down and having to dispose of the materials. "The engineers and architects have looked at it and the building is structurally sound, can be converted into apartments, and would be a very good use of this building for this area."
As far as the concerns of the neighbours, he said, "We don't anticipate any of those problems."
A request for special zoning would accept the current form of the building and would require the following variances from the minimum requirements of the Zoning By-law:
- Reduce the minimum front yard setback from 7 metres to the existing 0.36 metres;
- Reduce the minimum easterly side yard setback from 6 metres to the existing 2.28 metres;
- Reduce the minimum rear yard setback from 7 metres to the existing 1.59 metres;
- Reduce the minimum usable open space requirement to nil; and,
- Reduce the minimum landscaping buffer to nil.
The application received the full support of all members present. Mayor Al McDonald, Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch and Coun. Chris Mayne were absent.