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Loyalist Parkway development moving ahead without further market studies


Picton Properties will move ahead with plans to find businesses for its development on Loyalist Parkway, anchored by a new Sobey’s grocery store.

Council, in a 9-7 vote Tuesday night, approved official plan and zoning amendments allowing the developer’s wish to move forward without doing further market impact studies.

The County had hired Mimi Ward, of Ward Land Economics, to consult on effects a new grocery store location, a pharmacy and dollar store would have on the businesses downtown. She said other uses should have market impact studies before they are considered.

Jamie Chisholm, in his deputation, promised he would not allow similar stores to downtown businesses to move into the development. Previously, his market research conducted related to a pharmacy and dollar store. He noted the drug store is not interested and the dollar store is in conversation with the landlord across the street.

He did suggest the company might look for completely different tenants – such as a Beer Store or Apple Store. Adding more costs every time a new business is suggested, he said, just isn’t feasible due to the expense and lengthy delays time-wise that impede his ability to compete.

Mayor Robert Quaiff said he was disappointed.

“Here we are at the 11th hour and a lot of work has been done by myself, staff, the developer and the Ministry of Transportation for the entrance to the site. I’m pro-development, but … if we don’t do the studies then we don’t know the downtown is going to be OK. I don’t want to see another Belleville downtown like what happened there when the Quinte Mall went in.”

* * *

OCT 10 – Discussion about the large development on Loyalist Parkway – including a new location for Sobeys, a restaurant and two unconfirmed uses – continues at council tonight.

Council will review the municipality’s recommendation of no more than 65,000 square feet of new retail space with restrictions on types of businesses to protect retailers and service providers in downtown Picton; and a revised application from the developer.

At council’s Sept. 20 meeting the developer sought a revised application with additional land to the north, a more defined location for a future public internal street and flexibility in retail categories. The variation from the recommendations of the municipality’s market analyst was deferred to allow staff and the proponent to review additional information.

The former Hydro One office, works garage and yard are to be demolished on the six-acre site. Picton Properties proposes to develop four commercial buildings at a total of 66,603 sq.ft.

The main issue is maintaining, and where possible enhancing, the vitality and viability of downtown Picton.

The County’s peer review consultant recommends – no more than 64,905 sq.-ft. gross floor area of retail and service commercial space
– a maximum of 47,305 sqft of supermarket space (including retail selling, warehouse, storage, food prep, office, shipping/loading)
– a maximum 10,000 sq.-ft. of either a general merchandise space or health and personal care space, but not both. General merchandise excludes department stores and warehouse membership clubs.
– proposed increase to maximum gross floor areas should be subject to findings of a retail impact study
– no other retail store categories should be permitted on the site (department store, home imprevement, garden centres, apparel and accessories, furniture and home furnishings, home and auto supply and other retail uses) should not be permitted. Permissions subject to findings of a retail impact study.

Picton Properties proposes an additional 21,530 sq-ft and that no specifications be included as to the type of retail uses other than a food store to reflect flexibility years down the road.

Jamie Chisholm, at the September meeting of council, noted general agreement between Picton Properties and the Picton BIA regarding plans.

“The general downtown-esq type tenant we are volunteering not to do here… There are some components of this development that I understand they don’t want here but they are generally supportive of what we have proposed, in fact, comments in the BIA letter, gives us the flexibility of having different sized floor plates contrary to what staff is recommending.”

The report before council notes the proposed increase in square footage roughly translates into about 10 stores and though it may not represent a like to like comparison, the analysis of the proposed retail is warranted, and recommended.

It states total space in downtown Picton (excluding supermarkets) is 137,600 by 57 stores. The average size is 2,414.

Tonight, council expects deputations from Picton Properties’ Jamie Chisholm, Chris White and Ruth Ferguson Aulthouse.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Marnie says:

    No one who goes into business can reasonably expect that they will not face competition in the future. I recall that the arrival of Picton’s mew A and P knocked one long-established groceteria all but out of business. It happens. No Frills was opposed and it was predicted at the time that one of the other two supermarkets might not survive. All are still in business and No Frills is a godsend for those on a tight budget. We owe support to our business community but the consumer also deserves consideration. Competition usually means lower prices.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    Asking questions about the process is a positive aspect of a democracy. The reports on this council meeting show that there was a division on council between those who wanted the process to be followed and those who did not. If you were a business person whose business cold be impacted – then what would you do? And isn’t this the same council who badgered a business over their sign? Just who are these rules written for?

  3. Mark says:

    If we allow a chain store out there like Home Hardware, why not a Wal-Mart? Confused on the picking and choosing.

  4. Marnie says:

    Enough talk about taking it to the OMB. The new development sounds positive and council has given it the green light. What developer will want to come here if the threat of an OMB hearing is trotted out every time something new is proposed.The Sobey store has outgrown its present location. It is nearly impossible to park in Picton during the tourist season. Shopping at Sobey’s is a challenge. A new drug store and another restaurant with lots of parking would be a good thing.

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    I don’t know what the pressures are on Council to make what appears to be a rushed decision – does anyone else know? If they hired a company to investigate the impact of such a development on the downtown businesses – why not finish the study? By making this decision at this time, has Council followed their own process and if not, does it leave the door open for another OMB challenge?

  6. S Hunt says:

    The concerned landowner should take it to the OMB

  7. Gary says:

    I know. A farmer on prime agriculture land can’t even sever a lot for a retirement home. Just want to make sure everyone’s playing by the same rule book.

  8. wevil says:

    housing is planned for the property to the north

  9. Gary says:

    The additional land to the north on the revised application, is this not prime agricultural land? Does this not prevent any building development?

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