Monday, February 24, 2014

Draft Site Master Plan Helps Maintain Small-Town Feel

At our regular meeting last week, Council received three presentations regarding a draft Site Master Plan for most-northern portion of the East Fonthill lands – approximately 54 acres South of Regional Road 20 and West of Rice Road.

Wanting to ensure that new development maintains Pelham’s small-town feel and to make the best use of the 32 acres of Town-owned-land at the corner of Regional Road 20 and Rice Road, Council directed staff in April 2013 to begin developing a joint Site Master Plan for the Town’s lands and approximately 22 acres owned by the Allen Group.

Representatives of the Planning Partnership (the firm that helped develop the recently approved East Fonthill Secondary Plan) unveiled concept drawings that outlined various possible permitted uses for these lands including institutional-medical, retail, retirement, community centre, mixed-use commercial, townhomes, single-detached residential, mixed-use residential and parks and trails.

Aiming to provide complete streets, which accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, the draft Plan incorporates roundabouts, trails, environmental areas, parks and public squares that complement the Town’s urban design guidelines. The draft Plan also links the area to Downtown Fonthill via a tree-lined road extension to Pelham Town Square. (Please review the draft Plan at by scrolling down.)

Then, David Allen of the Allen Group outlined plans for the first phase of the development:

  • a 30,000 square foot medical facility that includes family doctors, specialists, minor surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, physiotherapy, optometry, radiology, geriatric clinics, health and wellness clinic, nurses and nurse practitioners;
  • an approximately 120 unit senior’s complex offering independent and assisted living options;
  • an 80,000 square foot commercial retail complex that includes a grocery store, fast food establishments and various other retailers.

This first phase could also accommodate a potential multi-purpose community centre and/or arena (pending public feedback and Council decisions this Spring).

Council also received an overview of the legal agreement(s) that are being created to help facilitate the development: a servicing agreement that would follow the Town’s procurement bylaw; a sale of lands or land swap agreement that would respect the Municipal Act’s “anti-bonusing” provisions and provide a “net benefit” to the Town; and the use of an outside party to recommend Planning approval documents to Council.

Next steps include refining and approving a Site Master Plan, and amending the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law. Pending such approvals this Spring, utility construction could commence as early as late Summer 2014.

During this exciting time for Pelham, our priority is to continue to balance growth as we maintain our small town feel. Council and I hope this draft Site Master Plan will help us to achieve that vision.