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by Doug Harvey
Prespa 9 Story Apartment Building in Port Stanley

Just when you thought those high-rise development issues on William Street were history, a new twist on that application for a zoning amendment to permit mixed use development, and to construct a nine storey mixed use development on the west side of William Street just north of Edith Cavell Boulevard. The development proposed 52 residential units within the 9 storeys with ground floor commercial space and three detached dwellings fronting onto Edith Cavell Boulevard.

Many people that went to the public meeting on March 1st, 2016 at the Port Stanley arena concerning Prespa's proposed 9-storey high-rise condominium apartment complex were not in favour of the proposal as it was proposed and suggested changes that would be more favored within the surrounding neighbourhood and community of Port Stanley. Those issues seemed to disappear after that meeting because like all matters of this type should have been handled by the planning department and by Council.

The reason for this growing interest in this application for a zoning amendment is because the Municipality of Central Elgin failed to make any type of decision concerning this application and now Prespa Construction Ltd's has taken the issue before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal will hold a prehearing conference at 10 A.M. at 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 regarding the 2016 Prespa Construction Ltd's proposed development at 146-156 William Street in Port Stanley.

Recently on April 3, 2018 the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), a quasi-judicial body that dealt with development proposal appeals, became the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). Many Ontario Council's in the past have tried to avoid an OMB appeal even it it meant compromising with developers and approving zoning amendments than were not yet allowed in the area's official plans, as blame could always be passed on to the unelected, unaccountable OMB that would end up making those unpopular zoning decisions because of the excuse that the OMB would have approved it anyway.

It would be hard to imagine the outcome of this Local Planning Appeal Tribunal mostly due to the fact that this is a relatively new decision making process and of the fact that the Municipality of Central Elgin never offered Prespa Construction Ltd's a decision on this application. Further complications that also add to this decision making process outcome involve Dillon Consulting who was hired to develop a secondary plan for the Port Stanley Harbour lands which includes the land on William Street. Both versions of the draft secondary plan seem to indicate that higher building heights will be included in the official plan for Port Stanley at some time in the near future.


Last Updated: Saturday, 04 August 2018 15:06:53 PM EST

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