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Jul. 31, 2021 | Saturday
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Council roundup: New medical centre aims for April opening
An artist's rendering of the future medical centre. (file)

Shovels will be in the ground sooner than later for the planned new medical centre on Garrison Village Drive.

Developer John Hawley, president of Traditional Neighbourhood Developments Inc., received unanimous council support Monday during a planning committee meeting for a conditional permit that will allow building to begin before the site plan is processed.

Hawley and Craig Larmour, the town's director of community and development services, said any risk associated with the permit rests with the developer and not the town.

Several members of the Niagara North Family Health Team, operating mainly out of the old hospital, will be relocating to the new medical building. 

The group's lease is up at the end of the year and at the current construction rate they wouldn’t be able to move in to the new site until the fall of 2022, according to Hawley.

With the conditional permit, Hawley hopes to have occupants moved in by April 2022.

“This is a win-win for the doctors, for all of the community and for all of the patients that will go and see these doctors,” Coun. Wendy Cheropita said.

Queenston Mile Vineyard

Councillors expressed frustration with an application by the Queenston Mile Vineyard during Monday’s committee of the whole planning meeting, but it appears the town won't block the winery's bid to install commercial kitchen equipment on the site.

Council now seems poised to accept the long-debated application from Queenston Mile after previously denying it. Councillors added eight conditions to the application, including the prohibition of a restaurant on the premises.

“This is probably the most frustrating file I have ever dealt with in my two-and-a-half-years of being a councillor,” Coun. Allan Bisback said during the meeting.

Councillors spoke at length about what Bisback referred to as a “masquerade” by the winery through mixed messaging to council.

In an interview on Tuesday, Lord Mayor Betty Disero said she was frustrated with the ambiguity surrounding the vineyard's land use since it shares a border with residential areas.

“I want to make (the rules) as clear as possible, so no one is surprised. I would think that, as a business, they would want the same thing: clarity and no ambiguity,” she said.

Mary Lou Tanner, of the Niagara Planning Group, represented the Queenston Mile at the committee of the whole.

“It is not going to be a restaurant. It is a winery. There will be some events there,” she said.

Queenston Mile has been approved for 275 guests inside and outside, and 150 inside only. As of Tuesday, the estate's website said it can host corporate events of up to 350 people.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said wine and food pairings for upward of 100 people is something that happens at a restaurant.

“I don’t agree with that,” Tanner said.

“We’ll see,” Disero replied.

Planning director Craig Larmour referred to the mile’s application as being for the use of a restaurant before saying he “misspoke.”

Other conditions passed by councillors include: Events would be limited to 150 people and two events per week; existing exhaust fans pointed toward residences would be moved; adequate parking would be installed on the site to accommodate guests, and the business would be prohibited from operating a restaurant.

All councillors voted in favour of the motion, excluding Coun. Erwin Wiens. Coun. John Wiens declared a conflict of interest and did not vote.

The motion was referred to staff for review and will be brought back to council at a later date.

459 Line 2 Rd.

After months of presentations from Steven Hidvary challenging proposed rezoning and home construction at 459 Line 2 Rd., council approved the development in a split vote.

Hidvary lives on the neighbouring property and had several complaints about the development, such as the size of the building and his loss of privacy. The town organized a mediation between Hidvary and the developer, but Hidvary said the meeting was inconclusive.

Couns. Clare Cameron, Gary Burroughs and Sandra O’Connor voted against the rezoning and new home on the lot, saying Hidvary’s concerns had not been adequately addressed.

“It’s unfortunate to hear that we’re pretty much in the same place that we were before,” Cameron said.

“I’ll use my vote to express my discontent.”

The rezoning passed 5-3 and heads to council for final approval at the end of the month.

412 Four Mile Creek Rd.

A new commercial centre, complete with a restaurant, is coming to St. Davids.

The property at 412 Four Mile Creek Rd. near Line 9 Road is being developed by Solmar Development Corp. into four commercial units and one restaurant.

“I think it can benefit the community, depending on what shops go there,” Lord Mayor Betty Disero told The Lake Report.

Planning committee approved the application unanimously and will vote on it again at the July 28 council meeting.

Rand estate hearing delayed

The Conservation Review Board meeting about the Rand Estate development, which was set to take place on July 19, has been deferred until December. Councillors said they had no ideas why the meeting has been delayed.

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