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Comments on Loyalist Parkway development being gathered for council meeting

Public and county staff comments on plans for a large development on Loyalist Parkway will be coming to council later this month.

Council received a staff report in July regarding proposed official plan and zoning amendments to make way for a Sobeys grocery store, restaurant and two unconfirmed uses, but potentially a dollar store or pharmacy. The development is in the area of the long closed hydro office, works garage and yard, at 13300 Loyalist Parkway.

The commercial development of almost 65,000 square feet requires an official plan amendment. The lands are subject to two designations: Town Residential and Town Gateway Area, which permits commercial use. The Town Residential portion is proposed to be amended to Town Gateway Area. Also, as part of the Picton Urban Centre Secondary Plan, the permitted maximum floorplate of 21,530 square feet is being exceeded by approximately 25,470 square feet.

The staff report has noted there will be no adverse impacts on the ability of the downtown core as the area’s primary traditional main street shopping, business, office and tourism centre of the community and does not significantly increase vacancy rates.

But Picton’s Business Improvement Area board has been receiving communication from members indicating concerns about businesses that would be in conflict with those in the core.

BIA board member Arlene Wright noted correspondence from a BIA owner of several commercial buildings, expressing concerns about vacancy rates, parking and foot traffic.

“If the downtown commercial building owners and commercial tenants are not protected from strip development outside the town, the upkeep required will lag.”

The email, and other comments directed in writing, and verbally to BIA board members support Sobey’s move, but do not support the establishment of “chain” businesses in direct competition to existing downtown businesses owned by local residents.

BIA chairman Robyn Molyneux and manager Judith Burfoot both noted positive support for Sobey’s move, deemed necessary, though would like to find ways to assist foot traffic to the store.

The existing Sobey’s is 14,600 square feet and the store must make daily use of an off-site storage facility of 10,000 square feet. The net increase in space for the new supermarket would result in approximately 22,400 square feet of floor space.

The BIA will be asking membership for input and feedback as it prepares a deputation for council for Aug. 16.

The BIA board has also been in discussion about steps necessary to expand the BIA’s boundary from its current end at Cold Storage Road, to the round-a-bout, which would allow Loyalist Parkway businesses to more connected to the town core and contribute to the downtown by way of participation, and levies, which are based on square footage.

Principle access to the new development would be directly across from the No Frills entrance. The report states the applicant, in co-operation with others, wishes to install traffic signals in advance of them being fully warranted to help with safety and efficiency of traffic movement at peak times.

The Ministry of Transporation has commented on the proposal, acknowledging access will require a new public road connection onto Highway 33. General support has been given, subject to review of the County’s traffic impact Assessment report. The ministry has concerns regarding any new development proposals between the new proposed public road access and the roundabout, that require signals that will negatively impact the performance of the roundabout.

The existing watermain on Loyalist Parkway is intended to be used to connect the proposed development. An existing sanitary sewer is located at the intersection of Cold Storage Road. It is proposed to extend the sewer west to the property and include the service for a residential subdivision also being proposed to the north of the subject lands. Picton Properties and Rollins Construction (northerly developer) offer to extend the required services to support both projects and hope to cost share with other landowners and end users that will also hook in.

County staff are reviewing the servicing report.

Two homeowners near the project have expressed concerns related to increased traffic, devaluation of the property, off-site lighting disturbance, traffic and parking noise pollution increased from current nuisances experienced from Canadian Tire and No Frills parking lots and loss of privacy in the rear yard where it abuts the development.

Meanwhile across the street, Picton’s Canadian Tire store has begun to clear the way for its $2.2 million addition approved by the County’s building department last month. The store plans includes an 11,000 square foot retail space addition and more than 12,000 square foot garden centre.

Residential projects for more than 400 housing units are also in process for the area behind the development, adjacent to Talbot Street.

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  1. wevil says:

    it is time for this to move forward

  2. Lynda says:

    Let’s keep growing. Consider angle parking, easier for the multitude of seniors here. Also much safer, insurance people should be requesting this.

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