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Uxbridge clears a pathway for new construction downtown


DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard


UXBRIDGE: On Monday, May 13th, Uxbridge councillors approved a zoning bylaw change to remove the (H) Holding symbol from the property at 36 Brock Street West, clearing the way for new construction on the site. This decision follows the demolition of Uxbridge Shoes to facilitate the Brock Street culvert project, leaving the site as a below-ground-level opening.

During the council meeting, development services director Kyle Rainbow clarified the township was 'obligated' to remove the (H) symbol as property owner John Rodych had met the three required conditions. These conditions included submitting a site plan agreement to the township, securing approvals from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, and obtaining all other necessary township, regional, and provincial approvals.

Present at the council meeting were Maria Guido, owner of Mondo Hair Salon adjacent to the east of the site, and Rick Siwek of Royal LePage to the west. Ms. Guido's legal representatives had sent a letter opposing the removal of the (H) symbol until damages allegedly caused by the culvert construction to her building were addressed.

Despite a township notice issued two weeks prior stating public representations would not be heard on this matter, Councillor Willie Popp secured approval for Ms. Guido and Mr. Siwek to speak. Both, were unprepared due to the prior stipulation, expressed frustration. Ms. Guido claimed the bylaw change favoured Mr. Rodych, citing unresolved damage to her building. Mr. Siwek noted his building's partial inaccessibility for six years due to the culvert project and criticized the lack of communication from the council.

"Why can't council put out a report that everyone can understand?" Mr. Siwek questioned. Chief Administrative Officer Kristi Honey responded that ongoing litigation necessitated careful communication. Mr. Siwek retorted, "You've been so careful; we haven't had any information for four years."

Councillor Popp voiced his dismay over the prolonged issues, acknowledging multiple properties in the former floodplain have (H) symbols requiring individual attention. Kyle Rainbow recommended Ms. Guido's letter be received for information by the council.

John Rodych was reserved about his plans, indicating the township could now issue building permits with the (H) symbol removed. He provided a visual from the Downtown Revitalization Committee showing a proposed two-storey building but did not specify a construction start date, merely stating it would be "soon." This zoning bylaw change marks a significant step towards revitalizing the downtown area, though neighbouring property owners continue to seek resolutions for issues experienced during the culvert construction project.

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