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Council directs staff to research public parking in Fenwick

The night before a contentious Committee of Adjustment meeting that deferred a decision on a proposed hotel development for downtown Fenwick, Pelham’s Town Council directed staff to look into the feasibility of acquiring real estate for parking in the vicinity.

The motion, brought by Ward 1 Councillor Marianne Stewart during council’s Feb. 3 meeting, received no pushback.

Councillor Marianne Stewart. YOUTUBE

“Fenwick for some time now has experienced a severe shortfall in parking spaces, and now there’s so much more development coming into the Fenwick area,” Stewart said. “We need to come up with a strategy for parking so that businesses that locate there can be successful.”

The following evening, on February 4, the Committee of Adjustment deferred a developer’s proposal to convert the old Royal Bank building at the corner of Canboro and Maple into a three-story hotel —in large part due to concerns over a lack of parking.

The existing municipal lot on Maple Street is widely seen to be regularly at capacity now.

Mayor Marvin Junkin agreed with Stewart.

“Anyone that tries to go downtown during supper hour … and try finding a spot, it is indeed a challenge,” the Mayor said. “Hopefully staff can do some researching.”

The report is due back in late March.

CCC update

Cannabis Control Committee chair Tim Nohara provided another update to councillors on his group’s work. He described actionable cannabis regulations as two lines of defense: the first being amendments to the Official Town Plan and zoning bylaws, the second being the implementation of an odour nuisance bylaw. Nohara said Ontario’s existing Municipal Act allows for the latter, given cannabis is not the only industry to create smell, light or noise — it’s just happens to be one that is newly-legalized.

“It’s a cannabis bylaw for sure, but from the experience we’ve had with odour, we’ve learned from other heavy-odour industries like landfill and rendering,” Nohara said.

Council also approved a CCC request for just under $9000 for related initiatives that include participation in the Cannabis Host Communities Network, a collective of municipalities around the province that are on the front lines of addressing legalization disruptions.

Sign bylaw delayed again

Councillor Mike Ciolfi asked for a deferment to May on a long-awaited new sign bylaw, saying that concerned constituents still wanted to discuss it. Councillor John Wink pushed back on the three-month delay. Deferral to April 6 was eventually agreed.