Abandel Group Revises Development Plan

A public meeting was held to discuss the new development proposal from Abandel Group Ltd. for their property on Innisfil Beach Road (#1124, 1130. 1136, approximately opposite Shoppers Drug Mart). The developer is appealing a Town decision to zone the rear of the property as “Future Development. It is seeking a zoning of “Mixed Use 2” to allow for the construction of three commercial buildings. A hearing scheduled at the OMB on August 25, 12014. This more comprehensive proposal replaces their earlier partial plan to construct a multi-story condominium building on the rear portion of the land, which would have been accessed by a driveway to Goshen Road. That concept is no longer valid.

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The Town background information describes the zoning issue this way:

“In June 2012, Council approved a Zoning By-law Amendment Application to establish commercial retail on the front half of the subject lands consisting of possible financial institution and two drive through restaurant facilities. While a seven (7)-storey residential building was discussed for the rear of the site, the applicant accepted a “Future Development” zone in order that any future proposal receive public input and separate consideration by Council.

Around the same time as the site-specific zoning by-law described above, Council also approved By-law No. 050-12 to establish the Innisfil Beach Road Urban Design Guidelines. Essentially these guidelines were implemented through the application of the Mixed Use 1 and Mixed Use 2 zones to properties fronting Innisfil Beach Road. Due to the timing of the Abandel application and the desire of the applicant to be “grandfathered” under the existing “Commercial General (CG) Zone” that allowed drive-through facilities, the property was deliberately excluded from By-law No. 050-12 and the application of the Mixed Use 2 (MU2) Zone with the consent of the landowner.

The Applicant later appealed Council’s decision to exclude the site from the “Mixed Use 2 (MU2) Zone” on the basis that the site fronts IBR and should have been zoned “Mixed Use 2 (MU2) Zone” as were other properties fronting IBR. The Applicant’s appeal was filed despite the subject lands being specifically excluded for the purposes of being ‘grandfathered’ and the commitment to have public input regarding future uses on the rear portion of the subject lands.”

The new proposal envisages a 3 story building fronting Innisfil Beach Road which would be more consistent with the Town’s guideline to create a street-front, ‘main street’ retail environment. A drive–through is intended for financial institution use. A second one-story building would extend north at the west side of the property with adjacent parking to the east. A third commercial building at the rear would also have a drive-through for a “non-food” use.

The Town’s planners are “supportive of the concept plan substantially in the form as presented”. Staff will prepare a recommendation report for the Council meeting scheduled on August 13 in preparation for the Town’s official position at the OMB hearing.

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