50 Allan Street; Removing one floor not good enough for council

Local developer Cheryl Batten
Local developer Cheryl Batten appearing before Carleton Place's committee of the whole meeting on Tues Nov 12. More to come later this week. Photo credit: Brian Turner.
Posted on: November 13, 2019

At Carleton Place’s town council committee of the whole meeting on Nov 13th, the address 50 Allan Street was back on the discussion table.  Developer Cheryl Batten had appeared to support the reopening of her company’s application to build a multi-residential unit at 50 Allan St.  Her first proposal for a 4-storey building was denied by council in the fall of last year and she appealed that decision to Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) which found, (earlier this year), in favour of the towns decision stating that the proposed structure was not compatible with the neighbourhood of single family homes.  Her current plans would be to construct a 3-storey structure which she stated was a size that members of the public (including area residents) were in favour of during public consultations held as part of the initial and failed application.  During discussion on this topic, Deputy Mayor Sean Redmond declared a conflict of interest as he lives across the street from the site, and left the chambers.

The town’s manger of development services, Joanna Bowes, reported to council that the previous application could not simply be reopened because it had ended in an LPAT ruling which denied it, but she offered several accommodations to Batten’s requests.  She suggested a reduced application fee of $1,000 (down from the normal $3,500) and that the requirement for environmental, geological, landscaping, engineering, storm-water, and archeological studies be waived as the previous files contained all those and they were deemed to be still relevant.  The only major stumbling block according to Bowes was the fact that a portion of the proposed building would be slightly over 28’ in height which was in contravention of the town’s new interim control bylaw enacted earlier this year for certain areas in the town (including 50 Allan St).  Bowes also stated that if council wished to provide relief to Batten from this restriction, the entire bylaw would need to be repealed as it contained no provisions for site by site exceptions.  Batten countered with her opinion that if the original application was reopened, her projects height would be protected under a grandfather clause.

Committee chair, councilor Toby Randell asked his colleagues if there was anyone who wished to put forward a motion to propose some height relief from the current bylaw, but was answered with silence.  Batten stated that their move was punitive and stormed out of the chambers.  She left copies in the town hall foyer of some of the documents and communications from her files dating back to her initial offer to buy the property from the town in 2013.  In two of those docs (a letter on town letter-head and an email) senior town staff indicated that her original proposal of 36 units would be permitted providing the project could meet current planning regulations.  Batten provided no indication what her next steps might be.