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Despite concerns, Lindsay apartment proposal takes a step forward

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes council has decided to grant approvals for a proposed apartment building complex in Lindsay.

The decision was made at a meeting, on Tuesday, June 20th, during discussions on the Planning Advisory Committee minutes from the June 7th meeting.

According to a staff report, Muskoka D&M Corp has proposed the creation of an 8-storey residential apartment building, with 110 units, on William Street North.

“The property is located on the northwest corner of William Street North and Wellington Street in Lindsay. The property is bounded by a mixture of commercial and residential uses,” the report explained.

Among the recommendations from the committee were, to adopt a bylaw to implement an Official Plan Amendment, that a zoning by-law amendment be approved and adopted, and to have the mayor and clerk execute any and all documents to make these changes happen.

However, Ward 5 Councillor Eric Smeaton wished for only the report to be received, effectively denying all other requests by the developer.

“It’s no secret, I’ve been very clear how the constituents I’ve spoken to feel and how I feel representing them. I’ve given it a lot of thought. So, here are my thoughts today. In order to accommodate the proposed apartment complex, the City recommends three-metre road widenings along both street frontages. For many people, after having lived through three or four years of downtown reconstruction, I don’t believe this is as simple and painless as it is being made out to be,” he stated.

He also pointed out, having an apartment complex on that site could lead to the city “missing a [future] business opportunity on that property,” and this complex could “exacerbate the [parking] problems we have no clear answer for.”

Councillor Smeaton clarified, he is not against the development, but instead, is against the location they’ve chosen.

But there were a lot more councillors in favour of the development proposal.

“We don’t have affordable units. You have a developer that’s coming to town, that’s willing to make that investment in our town, to provide 35 units out of 110 units, so we can knock some of those checkmarks off, for the folks looking for affordable homes right now,” Ward 8 Councillor Tracy Richardson said.

Ward 7 Councillor, Charlie McDonald called this a “tough decision” for council to make, but added, “we need to do the best we can, to provide housing for people who need it.”

Ward 2 Councillor, Pat Warren stated, she thinks “we have to move forward with this [development.]”

Councillors later voted in favour of approving the planning advisory committee’s recommendations on this development.

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