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Rezoning approved; 41-unit apartment building to move ahead despite objections from neighbours

'There is a need for affordable housing that can be pointed out through the current rental vacancy rate, 2.3 per cent — generally, anything below 3 per cent can indicate a housing shortage.'
2021 10 19 Dr. MacDougall Development Brookes Street (Turl)
The Nipissing District Housing Corporation apartment building will be located on this parking lot west of the Indigenous hub, on the former Dr. MacDougall school property.

North Bay City Council has approved a rezoning application from the Nipissing District Housing Corporation that will pave the way for the construction of a new 41-unit apartment building at 1040 Brookes Street once all conditions are met.

During a special meeting, Wednesday, Council also placed the subject property — located on the grounds of the former Dr. MacDougall school — under site plan control.

See original story: Committee recommends affordable housing development as neighbours air concerns

"When the applicant has met all the requirements of the holding zone — the traffic, the servicing, and the acoustic study — Planning will write a report stating to Council that this has been done and how it's been done. We would then come back to City Council to remove the holding zone," and for the final approval, advised Senior Planner Peter Carello during the committee meeting in October.

The vote was unanimous. Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch and Coun. Mac Bain declared conflicts. Coun. Ed Valenti, who was the only member to vote against recommending the matter at the committee level had technical difficulties for the online meeting and did not vote. Valenti's dissenting vote in that October committee meeting centred on increased volumes of people and traffic that would result from the development.

Several neighbours living in the area objected to the proposed three-storey Brookes Street development, to be built on the vacant former schoolyard land west of the existing Indigenous service hub. Their concerns include increased traffic, the new building not matching the character of the neighbourhood, and property values.

Full copies of the correspondence between members of the public and the City of North Bay's Planning Department related to the development can be found here.

The NDHC is a subsidiary of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board. At the committee level, Tyler Venable, the community projects planner for DNSSAB maintained the Brookes Street property is "well-positioned to provide additional affordable housing units in the City of North Bay."

He added, "There is a need for affordable housing that can be pointed out through the current rental vacancy rate, 2.3 per cent — generally, anything below 3 per cent can indicate a housing shortage."

According to the associated report from Carello, "the City’s Official Plan and the Provincial Policy Statement each encourage municipalities to facilitate the development of this type of housing."

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