An offer has been received by the Town of St. Marys for the property immediately north of the VIA station on James Street North, but nothing will move ahead before some restrictions on the property are removed.
The vacant hillside lot — with a frontage of approximately 30.5 metres and a depth of approximately 34 metres — currently falls under an Ontario Heritage Act designation that was meant to restrict changes to the train station. Additionally, it is currently zoned “Special Commercial” instead of the “Residential” zoning that applies to much of the surrounding neighbourhood.
“The subject property has been offered for sale by Public Tender by the Town as surplus lands,” explains a report provided to Town Councillors for their Committee of the Whole meeting last night (Tuesday, Oct. 15), “and an offer, conditional to rezoning, has been received.”
For yesterday’s meeting, councilors were presented with a recommendation that the property “be removed from the Heritage Designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act affecting 5 James Street North (VIA Station); and further, that Council authorizes staff to proceed with the de-designation process.”
In addition, at a Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting on Sept. 16, a motion was passed recommending a change for what’s known as 25 James Street North from Special Commercial to Residential Zone Two (R-2). The PAC motion included a recommendation to allow an exception in this case — specifically, that the 34-metre depth be allowed, despite the standard minimum lot depth for R-2 of 37 metres. The PAC also suggested a Public Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22.