Town Council voted to issue a development permit for Fred Green’s four-storey commercial and residential building at 336 Belaire Street.
The development has been a long time coming. Green first began consulting the community in early 2019. Since then, the design of the building has changed significantly.
The four-storey building will have a commercial floor with the most likely use being a cafe or brewpub. There will be three residential storeys which will provide roughly 12 units of housing. There will be 20 above-ground parking units in the parking lot on Green’s property, and 11 units of parking will be added across the street in front of Wickham Park. Those parking spaces will service both park users and commercial users.
Town of Ladysmith staff recommended that the Town enter into an encroachment agreement with the property owner of 336 Belaire Street. The encroachment agreement would allow for a plaza, paved with permeable pavers, and a small staircase, a bench, and a bicycle rack to be placed in the Rigby Place road right-of-way adjacent to the property. The proposed encroachment is approximately one metre wide along most of the development, with a slightly wider area at the intersection between Rigby Place and Belaire Street.
The encroachment agreement would place the responsibility for maintenance of the plaza with the property owner; it would also allow for the option of using the plaza for additional patio space. The area of the encroachment agreement would still be owned by the Town and the plaza area is intended for use by members of the public.
Another aspect of the development is proposed improvements to Wickham Park. The developer will construct parking and drainage improvements on the edge of Wickham Park and provide a gathering space at Wickham Park. The Town says they have had discussions with the Wickham family to any changes to the park are acceptable and keeping with the spirit of the park.
Town staff said they will bring back any developments at Wickham Park to council, the Wickham family and keep the public updated on any changes to the park before they occur.
Council also discussed the location of the garbage and waste disposal area for the building. Garbage, recycling and compost bins for commercial tenants will be kept in the underground parking section of the building. However, the garbage facilities will be located outside above ground. The garbage area will be screened and covered, but it isn’t planned to be kept inside a building at this time.
Mayor Aaron Stone and Councillor Rob Johnson expressed concern that the garbage enclosure would be too close to the neighbouring Belwood Village.
“It’s not the visibility, it’s the odour. Their patios are very close to the fence and I would not want stinky garbage located a few feet from the property line,” Johnson said.
There is no specific provision for the location of garbage under the development permit guidelines, however, staff said they would work with Green to come up with a satisfactory location for the commercial garbage units.