Carleton Place council splits vote on former Albert St. church development project

Posted on: March 7, 2018

Brian Turner 

Other than a few consent agenda items, the bulk of Carleton Place Planning and Protection and Physical Environment committees on March 6 dealt with an application to develop the former church at 17 Albert Street (on the corner of Beckwith Street) into an apartment unit.

This historic building, constructed in 1860 is already home to four lower level apartments and the current owner proposed to add seven more in the upper levels.

As the site plan could only provide parking for 10 vehicles, the staff recommendation was to only allow an additional six units to keep a 1:1 parking to residential unit ratio as indicated in current planning documents for the area.

Staff mentioned that they had been working with the property owner since last year and that original plans called for a total of 13 units.

Concerns were raised by Councillor Black regarding parking and traffic flow and Deputy Mayor Flynn was disappointed with the loss of rear lot access by Bridge Street fronting businesses due to the creation of a property line fence. The property owner’s planner, Benjamin Clare of McIntosh and Perry indicated that an exhaustive document search failed to reveal any legal right of ways on the church’s lot to permit such use.

He also mentioned that his firm and the property owners had worked at length to come to some type of arrangement without success.

In the end, the committee failed to pass the staff recommendation on a tie vote (Councillor Redmond was absent) and instead agreed to bring the matter forward to another meeting to review possible changes in the application to replace the lost residential unit(s) with a small retail commercial facility.