News

Public meeting on Port Dalhousie condos set

By Karena Walter, The Standard

A rendering from Fortress Real Developments of the Union Waterfront project in Port Dalhousie shows a view from Lakeport Road in the summer. Courtesy Fortress Real Developments. Tuesday September 26, 2017 in St. Catharines, Ont./ St. Catharines Standard/Postmedia Network

A rendering from Fortress Real Developments of the Union Waterfront project in Port Dalhousie shows a view from Lakeport Road in the summer. Courtesy Fortress Real Developments. Tuesday September 26, 2017 in St. Catharines, Ont./ St. Catharines Standard/Postmedia Network

St. Catharines council is moving out of city hall for a night next month so it can pack in more people for meeting about the proposed condo development in Port Dalhousie.

The city normally holds public meetings on development projects in council chambers but it’s preparing for more than the usual number of spectators and speakers about the Fortress Real Developments’ proposal.

“Because of the significant community interest in this project, we know that our council chambers probably isn’t big enough to hold the expected turnout so we needed a larger venue,” said St. Catharines urban design planner Scott Ritchie. “That’s why we’re doing a special council meeting off site.”

The council meeting is Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on St. Paul Street in Partridge Hall, which has 782 fixed seats.

The city held a public information meeting about the proposal on Sept. 27 at the Port Dalhousie Lions Club that drew about 270 people.

Dozens of people submitted their thoughts in writing to the city afterwards.

“There was a good amount of feedback, both for and against, and various shades in between,” Ritchie said.

The upcoming meeting will be more formal, required under the planning act and in front of city council.

Staff will present a report about the application to council and then people can speak in support or opposition to it.

The report from the planning and building services department will be available on Dec. 5 at www.stcatharines.ca.

Citizens can pre-register to speak at the meeting to ensure they get to comment before those who don’t. People can also make written submissions about the application.

A report with a staff recommendation on the application will be made at a later council meeting, not yet scheduled.

The Port Dalhousie property is 0.6-hectares in the heart of the community, bordered by Lock Street, Lakeport Road and Hogan’s Alley.

It’s had a site-specific plan attached to it since 2010 due to an Ontario Municipal Board decision that approved a 17-storey tower with 80 units, a theatre and hotel.

Fortress Real Developments, which acquired the property in 2015, wants to lower the storeys, increase the units and redistribute the mass.

It’s proposing a 14-storey terraced building with 220 apartment units, a public courtyard and commercial space called Union Waterfront Condos. It applied for an official plan amendment and zoning bylaw amendment with the city so it can build its project.

kwalter@postmedia.com