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Path cleared for dozens of new residential units

Developer has plans to convert existing commercial spaces into 30-plus residential units and build a new apartment building with up to 35 units

North Bay could see the creation of upward of 60 new residential rental units following the unanimous approval by North Bay City Council of an official plan amendment and a zoning by-law amendment.

With Tuesday's approval, the owner of the property located at 392 Airport Rd., may officially move ahead with plans to convert the commercial spaces on the ground floor of the existing 160-unit apartment building to 30-plus residential units. The amendment designates the entire property as solely residential without a required commercial component.

The property, located near the intersection of Airport Road and O’Brien Street, has a swath of unused land to the west of the existing building and the owner also has designs to build a second apartment building with up to 35 units, facilitated by the rezoning from "District Commercial" to "Residential." The western section of the property is vacant and is currently used for parking so adjustments will have to be made with any new construction.

Chair of community services, Coun. Johanne Brousseau thanked the developer "for investing in North Bay. The addition to the city's inventory of residential units is appreciated and much needed."

It was a quick turnaround for the planning matters as, following a public meeting Monday evening, the community services committee of North Bay City Council recommended the amendments submitted by Antech Design and Engineering Group on behalf of property owner Golden Estates Limited, and then approved them the next afternoon during a special meeting of council.

Prior to Tuesday's vote, Brousseau spoke about concerns about the lack of nearby infrastructure. "To follow through on last evening's planning meeting — the conversation regarding sidewalks and traffic lights can be addressed during the 2023 budget process. The council of the day can make those changes."

According to the staff report, the approvals were recommended, in part, because "the proposed development would result in new apartment units being constructed in an existing built-up area of the community on full municipal services."