Council should take residents moaning with a huge grain of salt.


If we were all to live by the comments made by some of the residents of Lighthouse Point at Monday evenings council meeting, Collingwood’s surrounding area would still be predominantly undeveloped farmland and in actual fact Cranberry, Lighthouse Point, Georgian Meadows et al would never have been built. One of the major complaints from the residents was that the population density in the new development will be 96 people per hectare. The surrounding Lighthouse Point is only 24 people per hectare. The developer is looking to change the zoning of the property from resort commercial (Hotel/Motel) to high-density residential.

I wonder what the density was when Lighthouse Point was originally developed? At a guess I would say maybe 2 – 4 people per hectare. Being as that area was predominantly single family houses on large acreage lots. I have always disliked this type of nimbyism. People move into an area then want to slam the door shut behind them. Many of the people at the meeting Monday said they knew that the property was going to be developed and are not opposed to its development per se. But not the development that was being proposed. Realistically though with the complaints I heard: From potential trespassing on their property to get to the water by future neighbors, to where and how the storm water and snow from the property were going to be handled, to noise from partyers. I can’t see any development of this vacant land meeting the approval of the local residents. The residents should be careful what they wish for, over the years I heard rumours going around that that property was slated for a Best Western type hotel/motel development which it is legally zoned for. Then let’s see how much “sleep” the local residents get.

There is a shortage of the type of small one and two bedroom condominium type accommodation in Collingwood as presented. A condo project by Brandy Lane just down the road was finished last year and is almost sold out. I was impressed by Kristine Loft’s (planner for Harhay Developments) presentation at the public meeting portion of Mondays council meeting, and that is unusual for me (I usually sleep through them). Higher density is something all of us are going to have to get used to. I actually prefer higher density rather than urban sprawl and constantly bulldozing and building on farmland. I am still pissed off that the Admiral Collingwood Place hasn’t materialized and although I have railed about Assaff over the past couple of years, I was and still am supportive of the 6 story building that was originally proposed. I just didn’t like the process (or lack thereof) that led to it.

This was the first public meeting the new council has been exposed to. I hope that they take the resident’s moaning and concerns, with a large grain of salt. I had a good chuckle when one lady said that she voted for everyone on council and she “hopes that they will all return that trust she put in them”. If she did in fact vote for Angry Man and Deb Doherty on the same ballot, she was probably the only person in town that did. As I said above I really liked this proposal, especially with the commercial component. With a few tweaks it is exactly the type of development that area and this town needs.

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6 thoughts on “Council should take residents moaning with a huge grain of salt.

  1. Colin as you are aware there is a significant list of uses the development group could build on that site that would not be subject to a process that includes the right to a public meeting nor an appeal to the OMB no matter the decision our local council will make. If the development group built what was allowed a site plan process would occur (not subject to an appeal) and when the staff recommendation moves to the council table it likely would be approved. The current OP designation and comprehensive by-law components are based on community wide consultation process when the Town did their Official Plan, their Official Plan updates and of course the comprehensive zoning by-law process which took several years. The council will need to listen to the concerns of those most impacted and balance them with the needs of the overall community and the input from them as well should they chose to attend the public meeting. It is all well and good for you to say the development is great but knowing where you live I know it has little to no direct impact on your daily life. The neighbours as do all citizens, have a legal right to comment when the planning application is different from the already approved community plans. Council should not dismiss out of hand the concerns raised by those directly impacted the development. I look forward to hearing from Kristine Loft’s (Planner of Record for the Development Group) Team as this application moves forward. Planners usually listen very carefully and Kris is a very good Planner to the early concerns and do try some mitigation tools to lessen the already raised concerns. There is plenty of residential housing stock being built or on hold and it is the non-residential development that will have a stronger positive overall impact to the assessment value versus the consumption of services. This is a new council with a lot of experience both political and life and I am sure they will give thoughtful reflection on what type of use (highway commercial versus high density residential) for this property will best serve the needs of Collingwood. Keep up the great work blogging about local issues. I do enjoy reading your posts and the comments.

  2. For once I have to disagree with you VFAN. I wouldnt want this monstrosity in my back yard and we have enough commercial developments in town. Sorry your wrong.

  3. I don’t really agree with the use of the term Nimby in this case.

    In my mind a ‘Nimby’ is someone who opposes the development of some kind of universally beneficial utility. Like a highway, or a waste disposal facility, or a power station. We all need them and benefit from them, and they have to be located reasonably close to populations. But nobody wants them ‘in my back yard’.

    So the term ‘Nimby’ is slightly derogatory and implies an element of hypocrisy.

    This case is different though, as it involves a housing development (a commercial enterprise, not intended for universal benefit). I don’t blame locals for wanting to influence the nature of the development for their own benefit. Good luck to them. Its all part of the democratic process. The developer has rights too of course. In the end the democratically elected council will weigh the arguments and make a decision within the law (which is as it should be).

    • Hey Bill the following is Webster’s online dictionary definition of NIMBY:
      NIMBY, an acronym for “Not In My Backyard,” describes the phenomenon in which residents of a neighbourhood designate a new development or change in occupancy of an existing development as inappropriate or unwanted for their local area.
      I think that pretty much covers it.
      I don’t blame the residents for wanting input on a development. But as I was sitting at the council meeting I got the feeling that they would not agree to any development other than the same as what they are already living in (or a nature reserve). That might not be cost effective for the developer, which often gets forgotten.

  4. I agree with you Nobody. I followed this on Monday evening and it did seem like a bit of nimbyism going on. I live out in that part of town and since the Craigleith General Store closed it would be nice to see a new restaurant out our way. One thing I always find in these public meetings about future developments is the residents complaining never seem to think about if a development makes sense financially . I would like to see how they react if they go back to a hotel or motel.

  5. Thanks for sharing, I must say I chuckled too after reading about your amusement with the voter who wants it in return lol….a chuckle that peeked the interest of my 18 year old in the other room 🙂 you know that means something!

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