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Demolition begins on former Thornbury Foodland

The site could become the home of attainable housing units, but final decisions have not yet been made
2020_08_06 TBM attainable housing project_JG
The Town of the Blue Mountains has officially begun removing the former Foodland building that sits on 171 King Street East in Thornbury. Contributed photo.

Earlier this week, construction crews in the Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) began taking the initial steps to remove the vacant building from the lot of the town’s future attainable housing project.

At the end of June, TBM council began the formal planning and public consultation process for the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation (BMAHC).

BMAHC is looking to establish multiple attainable housing units at the Gateway Site located at 171 King Street East in Thornbury by 2025. The corporation would not confirm how many units they are hoping to build on the site, but the organization's strategic plan identifies a goal of 250 units built over five years within the municipality.

TBM council has yet to make any final decisions on the official plan, height of the building or any required changes to the zoning bylaws.

The BMAHC made a request to the council to clearly establish planning parameters for the site to help the BMAHC embark on the hiring of a design or builder private sector partner to develop and then build out the site for attainable housing.

This action taken by council allows the BMAHC to begin exploring all possible options for the site.

“As in all other similar planning initiatives, the planning process for the BMAHC Gateway Site will consist of drafting potential site-specific planning amendments to both the town’s Official Plan and to the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw,” stated Alar Soever, mayor for TBM in a press release.

Soever also notes that the Planning Act process will be followed, and if approved, changes to the town’s Official Plan and to the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw could allow for a mixed-use development up to a maximum of five stories at the site.

“In other words, the intent and purpose of initiating the planning process is to allow the town and BMAHC to evaluate these options and to further consider public feedback from residents, local employers and the community at large,” he said.

Before any formal decisions regarding the development are made, council will review the evaluations and will consider all public feedback.

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Jennifer Golletz

About the Author: Jennifer Golletz

Jennifer Golletz covers civic matters under the Local Journalism Initative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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